Guidelines – Applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

To Be Eligible:

  • You must be enrolled for at least 1 full academic year (two semesters) in your current degree program before the start date of your CPT.

  • CPT can only be used for temporary employment (internship) and must be related to your degree. Authorization is required for paid or unpaid activity.

Maintain your valid F-1 status! You Must:

  • Receive your I-20 for CPT from the ISSS before you begin a paid or unpaid position. Failure to do so is a serious violation of current, federal immigration regulations and could have serious personal consequences for you.

  • Register for a minimum of 1 credit during each semester (or equivalent time period during the summer or winter term) of the CPT employment



Course Registration for CPT: If your internship is not a general requirement of your degree program (Masters in Social Work, Master of Education, MBA are examples of academic degrees where all students are required to do an internship) you must:

  • Register for a minimum of 1 credit during each semester (or equivalent time period during one of the summer or winter terms) of the CPT employment. This is necessary for a paid or unpaid internship. This one credit is part of your required full time course registration (or full time equivalent course registration)

STEP TWO: (All items listed must be submitted before processing of your CPT I-20 can begin)

You will submit the following items to the ISSS office for processing of the CPT I-20:

  • Completed academic advisor's recommendation form for Curricular Practical Training
  • Offer Letter from Employer, must be on official company letterhead (see example below)

Required information: Review your offer letter, does it:

  1. Give the starting and ending date of the position
  2. Give the number of hours to be worked each week
  3. Include a brief description of job duties
  4. Include address where internship will take place (if not shown on letterhead)

Offer Letter Example:

(Offer Letter for CPT must be on employer's letterhead stationary)


To Whom It May Concern:

(Student's Name) has been offered the position of (name of position). This position begins on (start date) and ends on (end date). The position will be for (number of hours) each week. We understand the student is not allowed to begin this position until they have received the authorizing I-20 for curricular practical training (CPT) from the International Student and Scholar Services Office.

The duties of this position will include:
(brief description of duties)

As the employer, we agree to cooperate with Binghamton University in achieving the curricular purposes of the employment/training.


Signature of Employer (signed and name typed out)

If you have additional questions regarding curricular practical training email ISSS Employment Team at or you can call 607-777-2510 and schedule an appointment.

Last Updated: 9/28/15