Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization available to F-1 students for work experience that is considered an integral part of a student's curriculum or academic program.

CPT can only be authorized before graduation and is generally used for summer research or internships, including Davidson experiential programs such as Davidson in Washington.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The work experience must be related to your major field of study and an integral part of your academic program.
  • You must have a declared major.
  • You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year (two semesters).
  • If CPT is pursued during the academic year, you must maintain a full course load.
  • Your employment, co-op or internship must be part of a bona fide employer-employee, supervisory relationship. Contract / 1099 positions do not satisfy this requirement.
  • Apply for and receive CPT authorization BEFORE beginning any employment activities.
  • CPT must always be connected to some form of Davidson enrollment -- typically XPL 099.
  • CPT can be paid or unpaid. Paid positions will require tax filing in the following year.

Step 1: Find an internship

If you have questions about how your internship relates to your major, please see your academic advisor. The Betty and B. Frank Matthews II ’49 Center for Career Development (Matthews Center) is a great resource as well.

Step 2: Receive New I-20 with CPT Authorization from ISP

  1. Complete the CPT Request Form.
  2. Log into WildcatSync, find the CPT I-20 Request and fill it out.
  3. Upload an offer letter from your employer. The offer letter should be on company letterhead and must include:
    • Job title
    • A brief description of your job duties
    • Address of the location at which you will physically be working
    • Name of supervisor
    • Number of hours per week to be worked
    • Start and end dates of employment
    • Signature either electronically or by hand
  4. ISP will review the request and, if everything is in order, issue a new I-20 with CPT authorization.

Step 3: Register with the Matthews Center

  1. Submit the Davidson Internship Credit Learning Agreement to the Matthews Center.
  2. If your internship application requires you to show proof of eligibility for credit in order to apply, email Jamie Stamey at

Other Considerations

  • Part time CPT does not take away any time from OPT. You can work up to 12 months of full time CPT without affecting OPT eligibility. However, completing 12 months of full time CPT invalidates your post completion OPT eligibility.
  • Once you have been in status for 9 months, part time CPT is unlimited. CPT is assessed and granted on a semester-by-semester basis.
  • XPL 099 requires a mid-experience and a final evaluation that must be submitted to the Matthews Center.