CPT or AT may be conducted off campus. This option is available if you are registered for an internship course or enrolled in an academic program that requires you to obtain practical training in your field of study for a specified period of time.
Internships are considered part of your education and, therefore, are allowed through a program called Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 students; Academic Training (AT) for J-1 students. This is a great way to network, develop new skills and gain work experience.
Most internships will also count as course credits, thus helping you make steady progress towards completing your studies. Here is the process for obtaining CPT or AT:
- Check with your International Student Advisor to make sure you are eligible for an internship or practical training in your field, and to find out the specific procedures.
- See if your academic department requires you to conduct academic training or offers any internship courses.
- Have your prospective employer write a letter on company letterhead, containing a job description, and specifying the length of the internship. Ask your advisor in advance, about other requirements.
- Have the professor in charge of the internship course or overseeing your academic training to approve your internship in writing.
- Register for the course.
- Pay your tuition bill.
- Bring the job description, approval letter, and proof of course registration, bursar’s receipt, and your I-20 or DS-2019 to your International Student Advisor to obtain approval.