Curricular Practical Training, Academics | Earlham College
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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 students is intended to provide authorization for off-campus work experience that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Employment must be directly related to the student’s major and it must count toward the completion of an Earlham degree.

Although employment authorized under part-time curricular practical training is unlimited until the completion of a degree, students who receive a total of 12 months or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for Option Practical Training (OPT); this includes practical training after graduation.

Students on F-1 visas are ineligible to work off-campus without prior authorization; this encompasses providing services in exchange for any form of compensation (wages, travel allowances, housing, meals, etc.).

Please contact an International Student Adviser if you have any questions about CPT eligibility or the application process.

  1. You must be in valid F-1 status
  2. You must have been enrolled for at least two consecutive semesters immediately before starting CPT
  3. You must continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during CPT (or immediately following CPT, for employment during the Winter or Summer break)
  4. You must have an employment offer (letter or contract) that includes: (a) The employer’s name, address, and contact information; (b) the job description; (c) the employment Start and End Date
  5. The position must be directly related to your major and must meet a Major requirement or a General Education requirement
  6. Your major must be declared with the Office of the Registrar


  1. Assist your Earlham Internship Faculty Supervisor with the completion of the CGCE’s CPT Recommendation form.  If you are enrolled in EPIC 171 "Internship Foundations" and will be doing an internship with partial or full funding from Earlham, then you will need to submit your Validation Form, rather than the CPT Recommendation Form.
  2. If you are completing the work opportunity for course credit, you must enroll in EPIC 481 or submit to the Registrar an Internship Petition that you complete with the help of your Faculty Supervisor for credit within your major.
  3. Submit the following to an International Student Adviser: (a) The completed CPT Recommendation form or the EPIC 171 Validation Form; (b) a copy of the employment offer letter or contract that includes: (1) The employer’s name, address, and contact information; (2) the job description; (3) the employment Start and End Date.  The job description may be a separate document, if necessary.
  4. Receive a new I-20, indicating the CPT approval, from an International Student Adviser. You may only work within the dates listed as approved for CPT on page 2 of your I-20 and you must have this new I-20 prior to beginning employment.
  5. Begin employment

Who should complete the CPT Recommendation form?

The Faculty Supervisor should complete the CPT Recommendation form with information provided by the student. The student should not complete the form on their own.

Why do I need to do the CPT Recommendation form?

Students with F-1 visas are ineligible to work off-campus for any form of compensation unless they have approved work authorization. CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is one form of work authorization; it requires that the work be part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student's major.

What counts as compensation for employment?

Anything the student receives in return for off-campus work is considered compensation and is illegal unless the student has previously received work authorization through the Center for Global and Career Education and/or USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Compensation can include, but is not limited to, payment, lodging, transportation, meals, and discounts.

What if I have questions about completing the CPT Recommendation form?

It is the student's responsibility to know F-1 student visa regulations, and it is the International Student Advisers' role to assist students in understanding these regulations. Please contact an International Student Adviser (by email or by calling x1424) for any questions you may have when completing the CPT Recommendation form.

What do I need before I can complete the CPT Recommendation form?

The student will need to provide a letter outlining the offer of employment. This letter should contain a description of the work the student will be doing, dates of employment, whether it is full- or part-time, and the hiring organization's name and address. In addition to this information, you should discuss the ways this employment is related to the student's declared major and how this employment is related to their academic program.

What is the Internship Petition?

The Internship Petition is a form from the Office of the Registrar that is used to grant academic credit for work done in an internship or employment opportunity. Most College majors have 481, 381, and 281 course designations (called Internships, Field Studies, Other Field Experiences, etc.) that work well for granting academic credit for work done through CPT employment authorization. In addition to completing the Internship Petition with their Academic Adviser, the student must register for the course indicated on both the Internship Petition and the CPT Recommendation form. If you would like more information or have questions about the Internship Petition, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
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Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.