Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Rules are being enforced when it comes to eligibility of CPT.
If you are not eligible for CPT, there are only two routes a student can choose from:
(1) If the work is part of your dissertation research then your adviser can provide a supporting statement along with the signature of the DGS + a letter/statement from the employer indicating that you can use techniques and skills gained in your dissertation research
(2) OPT. There is pre-completion OPT, OPT, Stem-Extension OPT
Note: CPT is not for those students done with the majority of their course work which would be after the 3rd or 4th semester. Coursework is defined as (according to OISSS) 9 hours of course registration. If a student is enrolled for less than 9 hours and the registration includes a 994, then that student is reported as full time on the basis of dissertation work.
Policy and Information on CPT for CS International Students
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a benefit of F-1 immigration status that permits off-campus employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum or which is required for graduation for all students in a particular educational program.
ISSS CPT Information:
CPT is typically authorized to allow a student to complete an internship, practicum or field experience that is necessary for degree completion or that will help the student satisfy the academic objectives of the program. An internship which is not required by a student’s degree program but may be completed on an elective basis will be approved for CPT only if all of the below criteria are met:
- You receive academic credit which will be applied toward meeting degree requirements.
- It is related to your major field of study.
- It is an integral part of your studies.
Other important guidelines to consider about CPT:
- Students in F-1 status are not eligible to begin any type of off-campus employment, whether it is paid or unpaid, without prior authorization.
- Employment is a “benefit” and available only to students who maintain valid F-1 status prior to the application and through the duration of authorized employment.
- ISSS will authorize CPT only for periods beginning and ending prior to completion of the student’s course of study.
- CPT will be approved for one semester at a time; should the student need to participate in an internship or practicum longer in duration than one semester, the student must reapply for another separate CPT authorization for an additional semester.
Course Information Needed for ISSS:
892 Practicum (0.5). Permission of the instructor. Work experience in an area of computer science relevant to the student’s research interests and pre-approved by the instructor. The grade, pass or fail only, will depend on a written report by the student and on a written evaluation by the employer.
NOTE: Instructor would be the student’s adviser.
The UNC-CH Department of Computer Science Policy on Curriular Practical Traning (CPT) During the Semester:
On occasion, an international student not funded by the department asks to be allowed to work externally for pay (or to be allowed such an arrangement instead of being paid by the department).
Our general policy will be that:
(1) the student demonstrates that the work is somehow related to their coursework or program of study (and is not just a random job)
(2) the student further demonstrates that they can complete at least the MSc within four total semesters (for a student prior admission to PhD candidacy). More generally we require that the student be on-track with respect to “sufficient academic progress” milestones for PhD candidates.
(3) International students on a student visa are required to maintain full-time (or full-time equivalent) registration.