F-1: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization granted to international students in F-1 status to get practical training that is related to their degree and is an “integral part of an established curriculum.” CPT enables students to apply and practice the knowledge and skills gained in their academic programs.

CPT is granted by the Glavin Office in accordance with U.S. immigration law. Authorization of CPT involves both academic and immigration processing.

Note: Students should plan ahead before accepting an internship to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements below and as academic and immigration processing could take over two weeks. CPT is not available for all academic programs.

Academic Eligibility

Internships must be approved by the appropriate Babson department that oversees the academic​ component under the degree program. Review information specific to your program under Step 2.

Immigration Eligibility

  • You must have been enrolled full-time, in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters) before applying for CPT.
  • The internship must be related to your field of study/degree.
  • CPT authorization is date and employer-specific.
  • Dates must be within the semester.
    • Summer 2021:
      • Undergraduate: May 2, 2021 - August 29, 2021
      • Graduate: April 27, 2021 - September 4, 2021
      • For summer graduates, your CPT must end by your program end date.
    • Fall 2021:
      • Undergraduate: August 30, 2021 - December 16, 2021
      • Graduate: September 5, 2021 - December 18, 2021
  • Changes or extensions within a current semester require action before the change occurs.
  • Graduating students may have a gap between the end of CPT and the start of Post-Completion OPT.
  • A new semester of an internship (even with the same employer) requires new authorization, going through all steps again.

There is no limit on the amount of time you can be authorized for CPT. Only if you use 365+ days of full-time CPT would you lose your eligibility to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

CPT Application Process

For each internship, you must follow these steps to ensure you are authorized to work in the U.S.

In order to be eligible for CPT authorization, you must have an internship offer that is related to your degree/field of study.  Internship dates must be within the semester (based on the academic calendar). You should allow for at least two weeks before your internship start date to accommodate academic and CPT processing.

Tip: work with the Centers for Career Development to prepare for internship and job searches and to discuss your overall career goals. There are a variety of incredible resources available to will take you from preparing your resume to learning how to build your network. You should also think about the numerous skills you offer as an international student studying in the U.S. ISSS frequently collaborates with the Centers for Career Development to offer "Job Search Strategy Sessions" specifically for international students.

Undergraduate Students

Enroll in either MOB2322, the Career Exploration Lab (CEL) or MOB3531, Building Your Career, the Internship Experience Lab (as of summer 2021) through the Undergraduate Center for Career Development (UGCCD). Find information and the enrollment form on the Undergraduate CCD Canvas Site.  Go to Modules > Internship Courses For Academic and Non-Academic Credit.  

Questions? Email the UG Experiential Programs Team
Hollister Hall, First Floor 781-239-4215

One Year & Two Year MBA Students

Enroll in EXP7501, EXP7502 or EXP7503, Inventing Your Career, based on whether it is a student's first, second or third semester of having an internship. Complete and submit the MBA Internship Course Enrollment Form to Graduate Center for Career Development (CCD) via Adobe Sign. Additional information can be found on the GCCD HUB page

Questions? Email GCCD
Olin Hall, 3rd Floor, Suite 320 781-239-4210

MSF & MSBA Students

MSF and MSBA students on the 3-semester track wanting to pursue a summer (full-time) or fall (part-time) internship, must enroll in an Independent Research Project (1.5 or 3 Choice Elective credits) before CPT authorization can be authorized by ISSS. To access the IR e-form and CPT form visit the MSF Hub page or MSBA Hub page respectively.

Questions? Email Graduate Academic Services
Olin Hall, 3rd Floor, Suite 320, 781-239-4474

Remote Processing due to COVID-19:

Submit completed documentation (Academic/Enrollment Form, Job Offer/Description & most recent I-94 (arrival/departure) to ISSS electronically using our online CPT Authorization request form.

An advisor will review and process your request. Until further notice due to COVID-19 allowances, a new Form I-20 with CPT authorization will be issued electronically and sent to students' Babson emails. For those getting CPT for the first time, a virtual appointment will need to be scheduled to review additional information about CPT and to discuss obtaining a Social Security number if needed.

CPT processing may take up to 10 days. DO NOT begin employment until you are authorized for CPT.

After CPT Approval

You may only work for the employer specified on your Form I-20 and within the date range specified.

Social Security Numbers

If you do not already have a U.S. Social Security number (SSN), you may apply for one after receiving your CPT authorization but no sooner than 30 days prior to the CPT employment start date.

**Note: expect processing changes and delays due to COVID-19

Current Internship Changes/Extensions

Changes to CPT authorization need to be approved BEFORE the current internship end date or when the change will happen.

If there are any changes to your internship after you have been authorized for CPT​ (i.e. different dates, a different location) you must first submit documentation about the change to the academic office overseeing your internship (see Step 2). Then, you must use the ISSS request form found in Step 3 to obtain a new Form I-20 reflecting the changes and/or extension of CPT authorization.

Extensions apply only within a given semester. Continuing an internship into a new semester equals a new period of CPT, new paperwork and a new course enrollment. (see below).

New Internships

If you plan to have a new internship in the next semester, either with the same employer or a new employer, new paperwork, new academic approval, and new CPT authorization is needed prior to starting the internship. Follow the CPT application process as listed above.

Failure to comply with obtaining CPT authorization, or making timely updates may be a violation of your immigration status.