A Painting at Hampshire College

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Guidelines and Application Procedures

CPT is authorization for off-campus employment prior to completion of studies that is either required as part of your academic program curriculum and/or for which you will receive academic credit towards your current division requirements.

Training Duration
Student Eligibility 
Training Eligibility 
Application Process

CPT Guidelines

Characteristics of CPT:

  • must fulfill specific goals/objectives as described in your current Division II/III contract.
  • is employer, job, AND time/duration-specific; once CPT is approved employment cannot be extended, student cannot change employers, and student cannot work over the hour/week limit.
  • can be paid or unpaid. *Includes some volunteer work.
  • cannot be authorized once all degree requirements have been met. Neither can training be authorized for your current division once you have met all division requirements.
  • period will automatically expire once degree/division requirements have been met. CPT cannot be extended. If you will graduate during your CPT period, you must apply for OPT 2-3 months in advance in order to continue working uninterrupted.

Guidelines for Training Duration:

  • It is recommended that training be completed during vacation periods, but can be done anytime over the calendar year. If training is completed during the academic semester, part-time work is recommended; full-time work is acceptable as long as you continue to meet minimum division requirements and remain in good academic standing.
  • Training authorized for part-time employment absolutely cannot exceed the 20 hour/week limit.
  • Students who are authorized for 12 months or more of full-time CPT are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after bachelor's degree completion.

Student Eligibility Requirements:
Students must:

  • be in lawful F-1 status and have maintained F-1 status at Hampshire College for a minimum of one academic year.
  • be in good academic standing.
  • must have completed at least one semester of Division II under their current contract, prior to training start date.

Training (Employment) Eligibility Requirements:

  • Training must be an integral part of your academic program and must fulfill training described in your current Division II/III contract and meet academic objectives outlined by your division chair.
  • Training must be directly related to your fields of study, "CIP codes," as indicated on your I-20, and commensurate with your degree level.
  • Must be authorized by Hampshire College (by way of the division chair/committee) prior to application and will be assessed in your current Division II/III evaluation.

Division Chair Guidelines:
Guidelines are available for the student's division chair to read for CPT requirements and division chair responsibilities.

CPT Application Process

*CPT is not guaranteed. Your application must clearly show how your proposed training is integral in your academic program and that it satisfies the academic objectives stated in your current Division II/III contract.

Mail OR submit in person your ORIGINAL and COMPLETED application to the MISS office (2nd floor of the CC, room 202) no later than two weeks before proposed first day of training (and no earlier than three weeks prior to first day of training):

Multicultural and International Student Services, Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA 01002

Only original documents will be accepted for CPT I-20 issuance. DO NOT SUBMIT DOCUMENTS INDIVIDUALLY. Electronic or faxed submissions are NOT accepted.

CPT Application:

  1. CPT Student Information Form and Application Cover Sheet
  2. Division Chair Recommendation Letter printed on Hampshire letterhead (Division Chair Guidelines here.)
  3. Employer Letter printed on employer letterhead 
  4. Current division contract (must be printed from The Hub and marked filed with central records), which reflects the approval from your committee AND clearly names the internship and descibes how this specific internship and the assigned duties correlates to the division work, purpose, and necessity of the training in order to fulfill division requirements.
  5. Class schedule (must be printed from The Hub) for the semester you will engage in CPT or if summer CPT submit class schedule showing pre-registration for the next semester.
  6. CIP Confirmation Form ONLY IF NEW CIP codes will be reported. You will only have to report new CIP codes if your field/s of study have changed and you have NOT yet reported them. Keep in mind that training should be consistent with your field/s of study indicated in your contract and your overall academic program as outlined in your division contract.

* If you are UNSURE what your current CIP codes are or if you are UNSURE if this update is required of you, please contact your international student advisor at missintl@hampshire.edu.

* There is NO application fee, as CPT does not require adjudication by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Adjudication process:

  • Your CPT application will be reviewed by the international student advisor at MISS; if additional requirements and/or advising are needed you will be contacted by the advisor by email or phone call.
  • If/when the CPT application is approved, you will be emailed by the advisor to pick up your NEW CPT I-20 that will reflect your CPT approval.

*You will show your CPT I-20 to your employer as proof of employment authorization.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are not authorized to begin work until the international student advisor has endorsed your form I-20. You MUST stop working on the last day indicated on the endorsement.

CPT Guidelines (pdf)

Stay In Touch
With The Cultural Center
Snail Mail
Multicultural & International Student Services
Mail Code SA
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002