Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." This work cannot violate the terms of your visa.

CPT is available only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have an internship offer before you apply for CPT.  CPT employment may not delay completion of your academic program. Students must have completed two academic semesters in the United States in order to qualify.

CNS International Graduate students must register for a 1 credit course in order to participate in any CPT:

  • For Doctoral Students, it should be 899
  • For Master’s students with thesis, it should be 699
  • For Master’s students without thesis, it should be a graduate level independent study course

After the completion of the internship, the student should submit a one-page reflection statement that should address the experience and how it enhanced the student’s graduate training. For doctoral students, the statement should address how the experience enhanced their dissertation work. The student should also request their internship mentor provide feedback about the student’s work via email to the graduate program director.

To apply for CPT either for summer or during an academic term, students must complete the following:

After receiving a paid training offer, ensure your job offer letter meets the following requirements:

  • Job Offer Letter on company letter head (with complete mailing address) which must contain ALL of the following information:
    • Job title
    • A brief description of job duties
    • Number of hours student will work per week
    • An exact employment start and end date
    • Location where student will be working
    • Salary and related compensation
  • Speak to a faculty member in your department and ask them to be your faculty sponsor for this experience.
  • Log-on to Handshake, and under Career Center, “Request an Experience.” You will upload your employee letter into Handshake. Any questions about registering your experience in Handshake should be directed to Mary Lysakowski,, 413-545-2224, in the Career Development & Professional Connections Hub, Goodell 511.
  • Once your Handshake “Experience” contract has been processed, Handshake will send a notification to your faculty sponsor to approve this.
  • Then, you can apply for CPT through the IPO office at this link

Still Have Questions?

Visit the International Programs Office for more information, or schedule an appointment with an IPO advisor (IPO Website).