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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an authorized period of employment that is an integral or important part of a student’s curriculum. At Stanford, there are two scenarios which qualify students for CPT:

  • The employment/internship is a requirement of the degree program. For this condition, you may or may not receive academic credit. Bechtel International Center must issue the CPT endorsement during the same quarter as the employment/internship period.
  • The employment/internship is not a requirement of a degree program.  The department must offer a CPT course for which the student receives academic credit during the same quarter as the employment/internship period. Failure to enroll in and complete the class results in a violation of your legal status.

Eligibility Criteria

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for CPT:

  • You must maintain valid F-1 status.
  • You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year. Graduate students are exempt from this requirement if their degree program requires immediate participation in CPT.
  • You must have an employer for CPT. You cannot be self-employed.
  • The employment must clearly be related to your field of study.
  • If you are an undergraduate student, you must have already declared a major.
  •  If the employment/internship is not a requirement of a degree program, your department must offer a specific CPT course during that quarter.
  • If you have already completed all course/unit requirements for your degree, you are not eligible for CPT except when employment is required to complete the thesis.
  • Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) students may qualify to do full-time CPT only if the work is required to complete the PhD/Engineer thesis.

CPT Guidelines

While participating in CPT, you must follow these requirements:

  • You must obtain a new I-20 with CPT authorization prior to your employment start date.
  • You must obtain a separate I-20 endorsed for each CPT employer when you have multiple employers.

  • Employment may not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time employment during official school breaks between quarters is permitted. You need separate endorsements for part-time and full-time employment even if the employment is in the same quarter.
  • There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in CPT, but if you participate for twelve months or more of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • If you work on-campus 20 hours per week or have a 50% RA/TA-ship you are not eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) while school is in session. If you have a summer RA/TA-ship and wish to apply for summer CPT, you should discuss this with your department.
  • You may not do full-time CPT in your final quarter (including summer).
  • If you are participating in part-time CPT in your final quarter, the last day of employment cannot exceed the final date of exams.
  • You may not enroll in the same CPT class more than once unless allowed by your department.
  • You may not enroll in more than one CPT class per quarter.
  • Students who have applied for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training may not apply for CPT for the same period.

Application Process

CPT is authorized by the Bechtel International Center. You can submit your application as soon as you have enrolled in the CPT course offered in the quarter you will be employed, but no later than ten working days prior to the start date of employment. Bechtel issues a new I-20 authorizing the requested employment period.

  1. Enroll in your department's CPT course.
  2. Complete the online application form in Bechtel Connect.
    * In the approver section please list the approver from your department.  Do NOT list a Bechtel advisor.
  3. Notify your departmental approver that you have submitted your CPT application.
    Your online application requires the approval of the departmental approver before it will be routed to Bechtel. 
    Share this instruction link: CPT Instructions for Advisors
  4. Only after your departmental approver approves the request will Bechtel begin to process it.

    Processing time for the CPT application with Bechtel is 5 to 10 business days. Bechtel notifies you by email when your new I-20 is approved and ready for you in the Documents section under the My Student Home tab in Bechtel Connect.

You cannot begin working until you have your CPT-approved I-20 from Bechtel.

If you are working remotely this summer, put the company address in the US under addresses 1 and 2, and in the remark section state that you are working remotely and list the address where you will be working.

Making Changes to Your CPT Employment Authorization Dates

If you already have a CPT-endorsed I-20 and need to change the authorized dates, ensure that the request meets the following criteria:

  • Your employer has not changed.
  • You are still enrolled in the CPT-based course during the period of your employment.
  • You have notified your departmental approver of the change.
  • The date change requested is only for future dates.
  • The requested end date does not extend into the next quarter.

There are two ways to request a change of CPT Employment Authorization Dates.

  • Submit a new CPT request in Bechtel Connect if your current CPT dates have expired,
  • Submit a CPT edit request through Bechtel Connect if your current CPT dates have not expired.

Employment dates for CPT for 2023-2024

For CPT during autumn, winter, and spring quarters, when you are required to be enrolled full time and can only work part-time under CPT, the proposed start and end dates of CPT must closely follow the academic calendar.

*The academic calendar is subject to change.  

The allowable CPT employment dates for the academic year are:

  • Autumn - start no earlier than 09/13/2023, end no later than 01/07/2024 (GSB end no later than 01/10/2024)
  • Winter - start no earlier than 12/16/2023, end no later than 03/31/2024 (GSB end no later than 04/03/2024)
  •  Spring - start no earlier than 03/23/2024, end no later than 06/23/2024
  •  Summer - start no earlier than 06/13/2024,  end no later than 09/22/2024

Note: If you are participating in CPT in your final quarter, the last day of employment cannot exceed the last day of class/final exam date. No exceptions are made.

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