Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which must be an integral part of your curriculum, and directly related to your field of study here at NJIT. Approval for CPT is authorized by the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI), the Career Development Services (CDS) and the student’s academic adviser.

CPT employment occurs before you have completed your program at NJIT. Students may not participate in CPT after their NJIT program has been completed.

You must submit your CPT form  and all required supporting documents to the OGI PRIOR to beginning your CPT employment. The OGI requires up to 7 business days to process all applications. You must submit your documents in a timely manner to allow you to obtain the necessary work authorization prior to your intended start date.


New CPT policy for international students when co-op is not required for their academic program (Implementation: Fall 2017)


Graduate students planning to do CPT will be required to register for a course. The CPT course will be for three credits and included in the student’s bill.  Any consecutive CPT courses will be for three credits, but no tuition will be charged irrespective of change of employer. Other fees still apply.

Undergraduate students should refer to CDS for billing questions.


  • Undergraduate students must register for 12 credits at all times (except last semester); three credits from CPT can be used to count towards the minimum requirement. Students cannot take a CPT course by itself.
  • Graduate students cannot take a CPT course by itself. In order to maintain full-time status they will have to, at a minimum, register for an in-person course while doing the CPT.
The OGI will not grant I-20 extensions for students who did not graduate in a timely manner (two years for MS students; four or five years for undergraduate students, depending on the program) due to CPT employment. CPT cannot delay your program completion.
The OGI will approve CPT for the following periods (to coincide with academic calendars as much as possible):

SUMMER CPT: From the day after the spring semester officially ends up to the day before fall classes begin.

FALL CPT: From the day after the fall semester officially begins to the day before spring classes begin.

SPRING CPT: From the day after the fall semester officially ends up to the day before summer classes begin.

Note that if the student is graduating at the end of the semester in which the co-op is taken, the end date of the CPT will be the graduation date. 


  • Graduate students: You must have been a full-time student for at least one academic year (fall and spring semesters), and meet co-op program eligibility requirements.
  • Undergraduate students: You must have been a full-time student for at least three semesters, and meet co-op program eligibility requirements
  • You must be in lawful F-1 status at the time of the CPT application.
  • You must maintain full-time status while on CPT according to the university’s full-time status policy for co-op students.
  • You must get all the necessary approvals to qualify for CPT (CDS, academic adviser, and the OGI).
  • You must obtain work authorization prior to the beginning of employment.
  • You must have a job offer directly related to your major.

Part-time vs. full-time CPT

You can apply for part-time CPT (maximum of 20 hours per week), or full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week). 

There is no limit on how much part-time CPT you may complete without affecting your Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility. More than 364 days of full-time CPT will cancel your eligibility for OPT.

Working full time while taking courses can be stressful. Please remember your primary responsibility is to study and finish your program in the time allotted. You will not be allowed to extend your program end date if you didn't graduate due to CPT taking up too much of your time. Federal regulations require you to continue making progress toward your degree. 

Maintaining CPT Authorization

You may work only for your approved employer during CPT. For any concerns during the course of your co-op, please contact your CDS advisor.

You may work during the authorized dates only. Any unauthorized employment outside of these dates will result in termination of your F-1 status.

Applying for CPT

In order to apply for CPT you must:

  • Fill out CDS’s Learning Agreement Form; you must secure all the required signatures.
  • Fill out the OGI’s CPT form; you must secure all the required signatures
  • Provide a copy of your employment offer letter. It must be on the company's letterhead and signed. It must include the student' s name, the company's name and address, job offer (type of work to be performed and/or job title), number of hours per week to be worked, and start/end dates, and salary/wages. 

You must register for the course related to your co-op to be eligible. CDS will tell you when to enroll. Processing time for the OGI is up to 7 business days, in addition to processing with CDS beforehand.

What type of authorization document will you receive?

If approved for CPT, the OGI will issue a new I-20 that will include CPT work authorization on the second page. You can only work for the employer listed on the I-20 and within the start and end date indicated on the I-20. Make sure to verify this information before you start working. If you think there is an error, contact your OGI adviser right away. 

You cannot start working until you receive your new I-20 with the authorization on the 2nd page. This includes paid or unpaid work. 

Frequently Asked Questions about CPT:

Can I extend my authorization?

  • If your employer extends your job offer for the current semester, bring an updated letter with the new end date to your OGI adviser. Please remember that the latest date possible is the last day of the current semester. 
  • If your employer wants you to continue working next semester (or summer term) you will have to apply for CPT again. The application is the same so be sure to allow enough time. 
  • If your employer wants you to continue working after graduation, you will have to apply for Post-Completion OPT. Be mindful of the deadlines and allow enough time for processing. 

Can I cancel my CPT authorization or change employers? 

  • If your CPT has not been approved yet, contact your OGI adviser right away. If changing employers, you will also need approval from CDS and you should contact OGI immediately so we don't proceed with your original application.
  • If your CPT has already been approved and your employment is terminated, notify your OGI adviser right away so we can shorten your CPT authorization. Otherwise the time approved in SEVIS will count toward the total amount of CPT allowed. 

I will graduate this semester but my I-20 has an end date in a future semester. Can I take additional courses in order to apply for CPT?

No. If you have completed all of your degree requirements, you must graduate and your I-20 end date will be shortened. You cannot extend your graduation unnecessarily just to do CPT. If you want to work in the U.S., you can apply for Post-Completion OPT. 

Can I request a program extension in order to apply for CPT? 

No. If you have completed all requirements you must graduate. If you need a program extension for a legitimate medical or academic reason, such as needing more time to finish your requirements or thesis, you may be granted an extension and apply for CPT that semester if otherwise eligible. CPT cannot be the justification for a program extension. 

Can I keep my on-campus job and CPT employment even if my work will total more than 20 hours a week? 

  • U.S. regulations do not explicitly restrict on-campus employment while participating in CPT. Therefore, the OGI recommends that students who wish to work on-campus while engaging in CPT should apply for part-time CPT and not exceed 40 hours of work combined between their on-campus work and CPT work. As a reminder, you cannot work more than 20 hours per week on campus while school is in session.
  • The OGI cannot guarantee that students who choose to do full-time CPT while working on campus will encounter no questions or problems in the future (i.e., as part of an H-1B or other immigration petition). Students who choose to do full-time CPT alongside on-campus work must understand that they do so at their own risk.