Curricular Practical Training


Bates College offers Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to undergraduate students who have completed one academic year (two consecutive semesters) at the college and declared their major. CPT may only be used prior to the completion of a course of study. Speak to the DSO before committing to any internship.

Curricular Practical Training is employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT is defined to be alternative work/study/internship, or cooperative education arranged with the approval of your Bates school program, or any type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Part-time CPT (under 20 hours per week) may take place during the academic year if it is a requirement for your degree and offered as part of an internship course in your field of study. Students on CPT during the fall or winter semester must be enrolled in a full course of study. Please speak with the DSO before beginning any internship during the fall or winter semester. Full-time CPT (over 20 hours per week) may take place in the summer. A good general principle is to approach CPT primarily from the curricular perspective, and only secondarily from the employment perspective. The school’s curriculum, not the student’s desire for employment, should drive the request for CPT. Because USCIS uses a broad definition of employment – any activity for which a student receives a benefit which is monetary or otherwise – even unpaid internships require CPT authorization.


Bates requires students seeking summer CPT to complete a Summer CPT Form, which can be completed and signed electronically. Not all internships are eligible for CPT. Please contact your DSO, Shelley Palmer, with questions regarding specific internships. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving their Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement.

Normally, students seek internships between their sophomore and junior years and/or junior and senior years. Students who have received an aggregate of one year or more of full-time curricular practical training become ineligible for optional practical training (OPT). Remember, speak to the DSO before committing to any internship.


The USCIS has released a temporary guidance adaptation pertaining to CPT while abroad. During the current COVID-19 health crisis, International students may engage in work remotely, provided the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically. If the student will be required to work remotely, the employer must describe how they will provide the necessary oversight and assessment of the student’s learning objectives. **Students who will work remotely from outside the U.S. must obtain CPT authorization before they may begin work for a U.S.-based employer.