Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

U.S. immigration regulations define Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as authorized off-campus employment which is an integral or required part of your curriculum and course of study. It can be utilized in cases of students pursuing internships (paid or unpaid) or other employment opportunities related to the students field(s) of study.

Types of CPT @ Brown:

CPT for Graduate Students

CPT for Undergraduate Students

Important Information Regarding CPT

General Limitations

  • You CANNOT start work off-campus prior to obtaining authorization from OISSS
  • You must not continue off-campus employment beyond the date authorized on your Form I‑20.
  • You may only work for the employer and number of hours specified on your Form I-20.

Work Hour Limitation

The hours of employment per week that you are able to work will be marked on the new I-20 as part of the CPT authorization (page 2). You must be careful NOT to exceed the hours of employment you are authorized for.

During academic semesters
Limited to part-time (20 hours per week or fewer)

During summer break
Part-time or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) allowed

PhD candidates only: After completion of required coursework
Graduate students who have completed all course requirements and are engaged in thesis/dissertation preparation are eligible for full-time (more than 20 hours per week) CPT during the academic year only if the training constitutes an integral part of their thesis/dissertation research. Students engaged in full-time CPT are not permitted to be engaged in full-time on-campus work (i.e. a research/teaching assistantship) during the academic year.       

Impact of CPT on Optional Practical Training

If authorized for a cumulative total of 12 months or more of full­-time CPT, you are no longer eligible for any OPT. Part-time CPT has no impact on OPT eligibility. For more information about OPT,  visit the OPT page.

CPT Authorization

CPT is authorized by an OISSS advisor in the form of a new I-20. Once students have submitted all the required documents to OISSS, the new I-20 will be ready to pick up within 10 business days.