You are here: Curricular Practical Training/Internships

Contact Us

202-885-3350

Fax: 202-885-3354

isss@american.edu

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Contact:
Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Butler Pavilion, Room 410

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041 United States

Back to top

Curricular Practical Training Internship Authorization for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option for F-1 students engaged in an academic program for whom work is considered an integral part of their studies. CPT authorization allows you to accept a one semester paid or unpaid internship in your field of study. You can be authorized for more than one semester of CPT, but each semester's internship must be a different curricular experience from previous internships. Students who wish to do a second CPT at the same location must demonstrate that the second experience is academically different than the first. 

SPA and SIS Graduate Students: You may not enroll in SPA-091 or SIS-091 if have you previously taken the for-credit internship course (xxx-691). 

 

You must receive employment authorization from ISSS before you report for your job/internship.

The following are required for an internship to meet CPT eligibility:

  • Internship is part of academic program
  • Internship is registered for academic credit that count towards graduation requirements
  • Need to have an internship job offer
  • Have been enrolled in a full-time degree program for at least 2 semesters, not including ESL training (summer does not count as a semester) 
  • Currently be in good academic standing in F-1 status 
  • Part-time: 20 hours or less
  • Full-time: No limit*

*Students granted one year of full-time CPT are ineligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Application Process

  1. Contact your academic advisor to learn if you are eligible and start the course registration process.
  2. Come to ISSS with the Internship Registration Form (PDF) to verify immigration eligibility for CPT authorization.
  3. Register for internship credit(s), keep a copy of the Internship Registration Form.
  4. Once the internship class appears on your student planning on your MyAU portal, log on to iEagle. Click on Current Student and fill out the CPT e-form. You will need to upload the completed Internship Registration Form.
  5. Within 3-5 business days, ISSS will issue an I-20 with CPT authorization and notify you for pick-up.
  6. Pick up your new I-20 in ISSS before starting work at your internship.
  1. Contact ISSS to verify immigration eligibility for CPT authorization and follow departmental procedure to register for the appropriate class.
  2. Once the class appears on your student planning on your MyAU portal, log on to iEagle. Click on Current Student to access the CPT e-form.
  3. You will need to upload your employer letter on company letterhead. The letter should state your: job/internship description, address of employment, number of hours of work per week, start and end dates, and contact information. Independent study students: Please also upload a copy of your independent study project plan agreed upon by you and your faculty supervisor.
  4. Your request will be routed to your academic advisor for verification. WCL students: allow 1 additional week for processing by the externship office.
  5. Within 3-5 business days, ISSS will issue an I-20 with CPT authorization and notify you for pick-up.
  6. Pick up your new I-20 in ISSS before starting work at your internship.
  1. Contact your advisor in WCL to learn if you are eligible for the practical track externship and to register for the externship course.
  2. Bring the WCL CPT Approval Form (PDF) to ISSS to sign, confirming your immigration eligibility for CPT. Return the form to WCL to begin the electronic contract process.
  3. Complete the WCL externship contract.
  4. The externship will be routed to ISSS for final approval.
  5. Within 3-5 business days, ISSS will issue an I-20 with CPT authorization and notify you for pick-up.
  6. Pick up your new I-20 in ISSS before starting work at your externship.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. You may only work at the employer indicated on your I-20 issued for CPT authorization.

You must obtain new CPT authorization. CPT is authorized for a specific employer and location.

To switch your CPT employer, you must withdraw from your current internship course and register for a new internship course through your academic advisor. You must reapply for CPT authorization from ISSS and be issued a new I-20 to show you are authorized to work at the new employer and location.

No.

CPT can only be extended if there is an unforeseen circumstance that is documented by your academic advisor and employer explaining what is preventing you from completing the academic requirements of the internship course.  Please consult with ISSS before requesting a CPT extension. 

You must obtain new CPT authorization for the new semester.

You must be registered for academic credit for the new internship and the experience must be academically different (i.e. show new, progressive responsibilities). 

Please contact ISSS for more details on what information you need to provide.

Students granted one year of full-time CPT are ineligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Please consult with ISSS before requesting CPT authorization based on a remote internship.

Yes. 

If it is your last semester and the only credit you have left is an internship, you must consult with ISSS prior to registering for the internship course.

Find Internships

  • The AU Career Center can help international students navigate the US job market. Advisors are available to help you learn how to maximize and market your background and skills.

  • The Kogod Office of Career Engagement specifically works with students pursuing a degree in the Kogod School of Business. International students in Kogod can make an appointment with a career advisor and utilize resources designed for business students.

  • The Washington College of Law Office of Career & Professional Development helps AU law students find externships and other job opportunities. Career counselors are available to help you with resumes, cover letters, and job search strategies.