CPT explained

CPT is a form of work authorization available for eligible F-1 students before their program end date. CPT is an integral part of an academic program therefore optional experiential learning are not eligible for CPT.

  • CPT authorization must be obtained for each and every co-op, internship, practicum, clinical, corporate residency, experiential PhD, or any other experiential training whether on or off-campus obtained before any work or training is permitted to start.
  • CPT can be either full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week).
  • CPT can be either paid or unpaid. All off-campus experiential activities require OGS authorization in advance. Retroactive authorization is not permitted by the U.S. federal government.
  • CPT is employer, location, full/part-time, and date specific. The employer’s name, address and the precise start and end dates must be authorized by OGS in advance.

Remember:  Students cannot start experiential activities prior to obtaining CPT authorization from OGS. Once authorized for CPT, F-1 students must comply with the authorization granted. Any extensions, cancellations, or changes to your authorized CPT must be first approved by the academic advisors/co-op coordinators and OGS prior to commencing any unauthorized any activities.

Please note that non curricular base on-campus activities do not require CPT authorization. Please visit our on-campus employment page on our website.

Watch the Video »

Eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible for CPT, students must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Must comply with all college academic eligibility requirements and policies for any experiential activities including every co-op, internship, practicum, clinical, corporate residency, experiential PhD, or any other experiential training whether on or off-campus.
  • Must always be making satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion. CPT must not cause a delay in the completion of a student’s academic program.
  • Be in valid F-1 status.
  • Must have completed at least one academic year of full time enrollment which is defined as two full-time semesters or three full-time quarters. (Change of Status and Transfer Students please read the ‘One academic year eligibility requirement’ section below,)
  • Requesting CPT within current program dates. CPT cannot go beyond the program end date which can be found on the first page of the I-20.
  • Be enrolled in a co-op course or program required course that specifies requiring off-campus experiential component in the syllabus.
  • The student is enrolled in this course for the entire period of authorization that is being requested.

Please Note: It is your responsibility to maintain your current F-1 status. In order to apply for CPT at Northeastern you must be both academically eligible as well as compliant with U.S. federal regulations as outlined above.

Video: CPT Eligibility

One academic year eligibility requirement

One academic year is defined as three quarters or two semesters of study. The academic year must meet the full-time enrollment standards defined below:

  • Undergraduate: minimum of 12 credit hours per term. 
  • Graduate: minimum of 8 credit hours per term (9 credit hours per term in a 3-credit enrollment system). 
  • Graduate students who hold an assistantship: 6 credit hours per term. 
  • Enrollment in both Summer 1 and Summer 2 combined OR full Summer can count as one term towards meeting the above one academic year requirement.
  • Time spent in the N.U.in program or English language programs such as NU Immerse/American Classroom/Global Pathway does not count toward CPT eligibility.

Please note there are limitations on online course registrations that may count toward full-time enrollment, please see the Enrollment Requirements section.

Change of status

Full-time students who are applying to change their immigration status inside the U.S. to F-1 may be eligible to use time from their previous immigration status towards meeting the one academic year enrollment requirement.

If you are changing your immigration status to F-1 and would like to engage in CPT before meeting the one academic year enrollment requirement after your change of status is approved, you will need to contact OGS to make an appointment with an advisor and bring a copy of your I-797 approval notice.

Transfer students

Students transferring to Northeastern may be able to use time from a previous institution.

If you are transferring to Northeastern and would like to engage in CPT before meeting the one academic year requirement, you will need to contact OGS to make an appointment with an advisor and bring copies of all relevant official transcripts to review your eligibility for CPT.

Please note if you come to Northeastern on an initial I-20 you will not be eligible to count your full-time enrollment from your previous institution toward CPT eligibility.

When and how to apply

To participate in an off-campus experiential training in the U.S, F-1 students must obtain CPT authorization from OGS. OGS will deny any requests for CPT that have not already been reviewed and approved academically by the appropriate advisor, co-op coordinator, or SEVIS contact.

1 Complete the e-form.

The student fills out the e-form with all requested information and documents. The documents the student will need are the following:

  • I-94 that indicates “Class of Admission” as “F-1” and “Admit Until Date” as “Duration of Status”.
  • Passport that is valid for at least the start date of CPT being requested.

When the student has submitted the e-from it will be routed to the secondary approved as indicated in the e-from.

2 Secondary approver reviews student information.

The Secondary Approver (academic advisor, co-op coordinator, or SEVIS contact) who receives the application will review the information the student has  entered and determine if they approve it academically. If approved, the Secondary Approver will submit the request to OGS.  If the Secondary Approver does not approve of the request, they will email the student directly regarding their decision.

3 OGS reviews application.

Upon receipt of the application from the Secondary Approver, OGS will process the application in up to 10 business days. OGS will examine the student’s documents to determine if a student is eligible under F-1 federal regulations to participate in CPT. If the student’s CPT request is approved, the student will receive an email from OGS with further instructions. If the CPT  request is denied, the student will receive an email from OGS with instructions on how to proceed.

4 Document pick-up.

Once notified by OGS, the student must pick up the I-20 or arrange for shipping if needed. The student must have CPT authorization and have collected the updated I-20 prior to commencing in experiential training. Please check OGS website for current office hours.

Video: How to apply for CPT

How CPT affects Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility

If an F-1 student exceeds 364 days of full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week at a degree level—bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate), they will lose their eligibility for OPT at that degree level.

  • Part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less) does not accrue towards the 364 day limit.
  • When counting CPT days, every day between the start and end date of CPT counts (including the start and end dates). The days that you are counting are the days that you had authorization, not the days you actually worked. This means even if it was a weekend, holiday, vacation etc. it still counts if you had CPT authorization.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to track of how much CPT time has been used per degree level. Students can use previously issued I-20s to document this. OGS provides CPT Authorization History Request, found here. CPT time used at another institution prior Northeastern must be requested from the prior institution.
  • Students enrolled in academic programs where the curriculum requires them to complete more than 364 days of full-time CPT at a degree level is not a violation of their F-1 status but does trigger the loss of OPT eligibility for that degree level.

Please remember: OGS does not keep track and communicate whether or not students will be exceeding the 364 day mark when students are requesting CPT authorization.  Students must keep this in mind when selecting dates if approaching 364 days.

Video: How CPT affects OPT Eligibility

Unauthorized experiential activity

Students cannot start experiential activities prior to obtaining CPT authorization from OGS. Unauthorized experiential activity will place the student in serious violation of his or her F-1 status. Please contact an advisor at OGS if you feel you have a situation that requires evaluation.

Please note: According to immigration regulations, students who have their SEVIS record terminated for engaging in unauthorized experiential activity are not eligible to apply for reinstatement within the U.S. In order to regain F-1 status, student must apply for readmission and leave the U.S. and re-enter on an initial I-20. Each situation is unique and requires evaluation to determine the best course of action therefore we highly recommend that students discuss this matter with an expert immigration attorney. Please find a list of attorneys here.

NOTE: Re-entry on an initial I-20 requires the accrual of one academic year of full-time enrollment to regain eligibility for future benefits including CPT and/or OPT.

 

Updating your CPT authorization

While on CPT it is important that you update OGS when there are changes in your authorization. These changes include:

  • Employer
  • Location
  • Date
  • Number of hours worked per week (full-time/part-time)
  • Cancellations
  • Other corrections

Once authorized for CPT, F-1 students must comply with the authorization granted. Any extensions, cancellations, or changes to your authorized CPT must be first approved by the academic advisors/co-op coordinators and OGS prior to commencing any unauthorized any activities.

Video: Staying in Status on CPT

Co-op Cordinators

CPT Authorizations Request must be approved by designated Coop Coordinators. These coop coordinators are approved by OGS to process CPT Requests submitted by F-1 international students. Please see list below of approved coop coordinators listed by college.

College of Arts, Media and Design

  • Craig Bettinson – cr.bettinson@northeastern.edu 
  • Lynn Burke – l.burke@northeastern.edu 
  • Pamela Goodale – p.goodale@northeastern.edu 
  • Michelle Hagopian – m.hagopian@northeastern.edu 
  • William Jackson – w.jackson@northeastern.edu 
  • Dori Peleg Mazor – d.mazor@northeastern.edu 
  • Kellianne Murphy – k.murphy@northeastern.edu 
  • Jacqueline Sweeney – j.sweeney@northeastern.edu 
  • Megan Strosniderm.strosnider@northeastern.edu

Bouvé College of Health Sciences

  • Robert Blaser – r.blaser@northeastern.edu 
  • Mary Carney – m.carney@northeastern.edu 
  • Jacqueline Diani – j.diani@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Foster – l.foster@northeastern.edu 
  • Maureen Jenkins – m.jenkins@northeastern.edu 
  • Deirdre Jordan – d.jordan@northeastern.edu 
  • Moira Mannix-Votel – m.mannix@northeastern.edu 
  • Kristen Morse – k.morse@northeastern.edu 
  • Nancy Waggner – n.waggner@northeastern.edu 
  • Mark Yorra – m.yorra@northeastern.edu 

D’Amore-McKim School of Business

  • Anis Abdulle – a.abdulle@northeastern.edu 
  • Maureen Basmajian – m.basmajian@northeastern.edu 
  • Kayla Bassett – k.bassett@northeastern.edu 
  • Charlie Bognanni – c.bognanni@northeastern.edu 
  • Danielle Bouwman – d.bouwman@northeastern.edu 
  • Emily Casey – e.casey@northeastern.edu 
  • Esther Chewning – e.chewning@northeastern.edu 
  • Elizabeth Chilvers – e.chilvers@northeastern.edu 
  • Elisha Clark – el.clark@northeastern.edu 
  • Judith Downey – j.downey@northeastern.edu 
  • Andrea Dropkin-Mackey – a.dropkin@northeastern.edu
  • Frank Gonzalez – f.gonzalez@northeastern.edu 
  • Kelly Harrington – k.harrington@northeastern.edu 
  • Cathy Hayes – c.hayes@northeastern.edu 
  • Heather Hauck – h.hauck@northeastern.edu 
  • Kelsey Hersh – k.hersh@northeastern.edu 
  • Brooke Johnson – bro.johnson@northeastern.edu 
  • Lizbeth Jones – l.jones@northeastern.edu 
  • Sallyann Kakas – s.kakas@northeastern.edu 
  • Mary Kane – m.kane@northeastern.edu 
  • Ryann Kelley – r.kelley@northeastern.edu 
  • Elizabeth Larson – el.larson@northeastern.edu 
  • Elinor Levine – el.levine@northeastern.edu 
  • Ernest Mauristhene – e.mauristhene@northeastern.edu 
  • Samantha Mele – s.mele@northeastern.edu 
  • Maura Miller – mau.miller@northeastern.edu 
  • Megan Richmond – m.richmond@northeastern.edu 
  • Eric Riese – e.riese@northeastern.edu 
  • Christina Roberts – c.roberts@northeastern.edu 
  • Erica Sands – e.sands@northeastern.edu 
  • Linda Sarkisian – l.sarkisian@northeastern.edu 
  • Maggie Shea – m.shea@northeastern.edu 
  • Aryn Tomlinson – a.tomlinson@northeastern.edu 
  • Natalie Wadia – n.wadia@northeastern.edu 
  • Kayla McEwenk – a.mcewen@northeastern.edu

College of Computer & Information Science

  • Priyanka Bishnoi – p.bishnoi@neu.edu 
  • Smajl Cengic – s.cengic@northeastern.edu  
  • Aileen Kent Yates – a.kentyates@northeastern.edu 
  • Nathanael Lash – n.lash@northeastern.edu 
  • Paco Mesch – f.mesch@northeastern.edu 
  • Yasmil Montes – y.montes@northeastern.edu 
  • Melissa Peikin – m.peikin@northeastern.edu 
  • Karyn Rosen – k.rosen@northeastern.edu 
  • Ethan Selinger – e.selinger@northeastern.edu 
  • Jennifer Shire – j.shire@northeastern.edu 
  • Kathi Vander Laan – k.vanderlaan@northeastern.edu 
  • Brianne McDonough – b.mcdonough@northeastern.edu  
  • Anis Abdulle – a.abdulle@northeastern.edu
  • Brian Sweeney – b.sweeney@northeastern.edu

College of Engineering

  • Brian Albrecht – b.albrecht@northeastern.edu 
  • Cheryl Arruda – c.arruda@northeastern.edu 
  • John Bleakney – j.bleakney@northeastern.edu 
  • Sharon Britton – s.britton@northeastern.edu 
  • Peter Cardillo – p.cardillo@northeastern.edu 
  • Heather Carpenter-Oliveira – he.carpenter@northeastern.edu 
  • Samuel Casey – k.casey@northeastern.edu 
  • Sally Conant – s.conant@northeastern.edu 
  • Mary Federico – m.c.federico@neu.edu 
  • Gaby Fiorenza – g.fiorenza@northeastern.edu 
  • Josie Flanaganj.flanagan@northeastern.edu 
  • Robson Goulart – r.goulart@northeastern.edu 
  • Sara Grier – s.grier@northeastern.edu 
  • Peg Grimes – m.grimes@northeastern.edu 
  • Steve Johnson – st.johnson@northeastern.edu 
  • Ali Joyce – a.joyce@northeastern.edu 
  • Karen Kelley – k.kelley@northeastern.edu 
  • Sarah Kostanski – s.kostanski@northeastern.edu 
  • Tricia Lenihan – t.lenihan@northeastern.edu 
  • Jackie Josselyn – j.josselyn@northeastern.edu
  • Laura Meyer – l.meyer@northeastern.edu 
  • Sarah Mockler – s.mockler@northeastern.edu 
  • Lorraine Mountain – l.mountain@northeastern.edu 
  • Dana Munzner – d.munzner@northeastern.edu 
  • Julie Nguyen – ju.nguyen@northeastern.edu 
  • Alison Nogueira – a.nogueira@northeastern.edu 
  • Jessica Ormsby – j.ormsby@northeastern.edu 
  • Himlona Palikhe – h.palikhe@northeastern.edu 
  • Jessica Fisher – j.fisher@northeastern.edu
  • Maricla Pirozzi – m.pirozzi@northeastern.edu 
  • Daniel Saulnier – d.saulnier@northeastern.edu 
  • Michael Schwartz – m.schwartz@northeastern.edu 
  • Abby Skelton – a.skelton@northeastern.edu 
  • Iraz Medhi – i.medhi@northeastern.edu 
  • Josie Unger – j.unger@northeastern.edu 
  • Janice Vanselow – j.vanselow@northeastern.edu 
  • Jacob Walker – jw.walker@northeastern.edu 
  • Rachel Walsh – ra.walsh@northeastern.edu 
  • Rebecca Webb – r.webb@northeastern.edu 
  • Diane Yasgur – d.yasgur@northeastern.edu 
  • Nathaniel Ziegler – n.ziegler@northeastern.edu 
  • Max Sederer – m.sederer@northeastern.edu  
  • Robin MacIlroy – r.macilroy@northeastern.edu
  • Lucy Lu – si.lu@northeastern.edu
  • Jack Harari – j.harari@northeastern.edu
  • Carrie Klaphake – c.klaphake@northeastern.edu

 

College of Science

  • Kathleen Cameron Dioli – k.dioli@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Campagnoni – l.campagnoni@northeastern.edu 
  • Diane Chandler – d.chandler@northeastern.edu 
  • Patricia Corrigan – p.corrigan@northeastern.edu 
  • Chris Egan – c.egan@northeastern.edu 
  • Michelle Israel – m.israel@northeastern.edu 
  • Jordan Keefe – j.keefe@northeastern.edu 
  • Sarah Klionsky – s.klionsky@northeastern.edu 
  • Charlotte Lam – c.lam@northeastern.edu 
  • Tina Mello – t.mello@northeastern.edu 
  • Kate Porter – k.porter@northeastern.edu 
  • Veronica Porter – v.porter@northeastern.edu 
  • Alexandra Russ – a.russ@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Tison-Thomas – l.tisonthomas@northeastern.edu 
  • Vanecia Harrison-Sanders v.harrison@northeastern.edu

College of Social Sciences & Humanities

  • Jonathan Andrew – j.andrew@northeastern.edu 
  • Linnea Basu – l.basu@northeastern.edu 
  • Andy Casasanto-Ferro – a.casasantoferro@northeastern.edu 
  • Richard Conley – r.conley@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa C. Doherty – l.doherty@northeastern.edu 
  • Joani LaMachia – j.lamachia@northeastern.edu 
  • Mary Mello – m.mello@northeastern.edu 
  • Rebecca Westerling – r.westerling@northeastern.edu 
  • Stephen Williams – s.williams@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Worsh – l.worsh@northeastern.edu 
  • Michelle Zaff – m.zaff@northeastern.edu 
  • Eric Winter – e.winter@northeastern.edu

College of Professional Studies

  • Laura Evangelista – l.evangelista@northeastern.edu 
  • Lucy Fitzpatrick – l.fitzpatrick@northeastern.edu 
  • Morgan Hughes – mo.hughes@northeastern.edu 
  • Chuck Kilfoye – c.kilfoye@northeastern.edu 
  • Jamie Sebastian – j.sebastian@northeastern.edu 

School of Law

  • Naomi Bass – n.bass@northeastern.edu 
  • Destini Aguero – d.aguero@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Brathwaite – l.brathwaite@northeastern.edu 
  • Patrick Cassidy – p.cassidy@northeastern.edu 
  • Patricia Gould – p.gould@northeastern.edu 
  • Meredith Joseph – m.joseph@northeastern.edu 
  • Cynthia Tow McPherson – c.mcpherson@northeastern.edu 
  • Dorothy Morgan – d.page@northeastern.edu 
  • Gil Sayfan – g.sayfan@northeastern.edu 

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

  • Jonathan Andrew – j.andrew@northeastern.edu 
  • Linnea Basu – l.basu@northeastern.edu 
  • Andy Casasanto-Ferro – a.casasantoferro@northeastern.edu 
  • Richard Conley – r.conley@northeastern.edu 
  • Stephen Williams – s.williams@northeastern.edu 
  • Lisa Worsh – l.worsh@northeastern.edu 
  • Michelle Zaff – m.zaff@northeastern.edu
  • Eric Winter – e.winter@northeastern.ed
  • Lisa C. Doherty – l.doherty@northeastern.edu 
  • Joani LaMachia – j.lamachia@northeastern.edu 
  • Mary Mello – m.mello@northeastern.edu 
  • Rebecca Westerling – r.westerling@northeastern.edu

SEVIS Contacts

This list is intended for SEVIS Contacts who are approved by OGS to sign off on GRADUATE non-co-op CPT requests. If you would like to be added to this list please read the Approval Process tab under Information for Advisors and Co-op Coordinators

College of Arts, Media and Design

Graduate Student Contact:

  • Moki Smith – mk.smith@northeastern.edu

Undergraduate Student Contact:

  • Kriste O’Brien – kr.obrien@northeastern.edu

D’Amore McKim School of Business

  • Lauren DeSantis – l.desantis@northeastern.edu
  • Lauren Fallon – l.fallon@northeastern.edu
  • Lizbeth Jones – l.jones@northeastern.edu
  • Sandra Leyne – s.leyne@northeastern.edu
  • Melissa Taggart – m.taggart@northeastern.edu

College of Computer and Information Science

  • Meg Barry – m.barry@northeastern.edu
  • Danielle DiFazio – d.difazio@northeastern.edu
  • Bryan Lackaye – b.lackaye@northeastern.edu

College of Engineering

  • Stephanie Duhem – s.duhem@northeastern.edu
  • Allison Jacobs – al.jacobs@northeastern.edu
  • Matthew Podgurski – m.podgurski@northeastern.edu
  • Natalie Russo – n.russo@northeastern.edu

Bouve College of Health Sciences

  • Mariana DePaula – m.depaula@northeastern.edu

School of Law

  • Patrick Cassidy – p.cassidy@northeastern.edu
  • Meredith Joseph – m.joseph@northeastern.edu
  • Kendra Millay – k.millay@northeastern.edu

College of Science

  • Ilana Zeltser – i.zeltser@northeastern.edu
  • Chelsea D’Aprile – c.daprile@northeastern.edu

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Undergraduate Contact:

  • Mary Mello – m.mello@northeastern.edu

Graduate Contacts:

  • Sheila Magee – s.magee@northeastern.edu
  • Amy Killeen – a.killeen@northeastern.edu

Related Articles:

Economic Hardship

Sometimes in life, the unexpected happens. If you experience a financial hardship and you are currently studying in the USA on an F-1 visa, you may request an employment authorization.

Reporting STEM Extension OPT (F-1)

Discover what F-1 students are required to report during their 24-month Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) extension.

Reporting Post-Completion OPT (F-1)

F-1 students on Post-Completion Optional Training are required to report specific changes of their status to the Office of Global Services (OGS). See the full list below.