Employment for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the program for F-1 students through which you may be authorized to work off-campus in the United States before you graduate. Work that is part of this program must be credit-bearing practical training that is part of your course or degree.


  • After you attend MICA full time as an F-1 student for at least two consecutive semesters in good academic standing, you may apply for CPT

  • MICA undergraduates are only eligible for CPT through approved internships. Before you can begin to work, you must obtain approval for an internship from MICA's Career Development office and obtain approval for CPT on your I-20 from MICA's International Education office.

Type of Work

  • The CPT employment must be related to your degree program.

  • Authorization is for a single employer or job. You must seek separate CPT authorization for each job. Self-employment is not permitted on CPT.

Amount of Work

  • You may work part-time (20 hours per week or less) while school is in session or any number of hours (full or part-time) during vacation periods. Vacation periods are Winter Break and Summer Break only.


  • CPT authorization is granted by the Office of International Education and registered with the U.S. government. Be sure to apply before your intended employment start date.  Authorization is only for the CPT dates and employer printed on your I-20.

  • You are not eligible to work until your I-20 is authorized for the CPT employment and the authorized start date has been reached.

  • You will show your employer the CPT authorization on your I-20 as proof of your employment eligibility.

  • To review the employer's responsibility in F-1 employment, please see our list of F-1 Employer Guidelines

Reporting Requirements

  • Students on CPT must report to International Education if they end their authorized CPT employment early or if they wish to discuss their options regarding extending or changing their employment.



  • Visit Internships for International Students for more information

  • Meet with your counselor in the MICA Office of Career Development to complete your MICA Internship Learning Contract. The successful completion and approval of this application will enable International Education to create your CPT I-20

  • Enroll in internship credits! Talk with Career Development on how your internship credits will be put on your semester schedule.