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.

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.
  • 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: Gather and Submit Documents:

  1. Complete and submit the Davidson Internship Credit Learning Agreement to the Matthews Center.

    If your internship application requires you show proof of eligibility for credit in order to apply, send an email to In the subject line, write Internship Credit Eligibility Letter–Your Name.

    In the body of the email, include this information:

    • Your Name
    • Your Student ID 9-digit Davidson ID number
    • Addressee Name, Courtesy Title (Mr./Ms.) and Job Title
    • Organization
    • Organization Address
    • Addressee Email
    • How You Want the Letter Sent: Fax or Email; To You or the Internship Site
  2. Complete the CPT Authorization Form (PDF)
  3. Submit the CPT Authorization Form and an offer letter from your employer to International Student Programs. 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
    • Rate of pay
    • Start and end dates of employment
    • Signature either electronically or by hand

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.