3 Top Day 1 CPT PhD Universities in the USA (FAQs) | 2023

Day 1 CPT PhD Universities in the USA: Living in the United States on a visa can be challenging at times. To have a real visa, you must walk a fine line between the various deadlines, dates of expiration, and eligibility requirements.

Another aspect to consider is whether or not you are authorized to work legally in the United States.

For this reason, educational institutions like universities have developed programs known as curricular practical training (CPT), allowing students to work while still in school.

This article provides a more in-depth look at the specifics of the Day 1 CPT that are important for you to understand.

What is the CPT?

Curricular Practical Training, abbreviated CPT, is a training program for students in the United States on an F1 visa.

Fieldwork under supervision is typically part of degree programs, and completion is mandatory for earning one. 

Is there a CPT available for PhD students?

CPTs for master’s degrees are among the most commonly obtained by F1 students. However, some colleges may provide a day 1 CPT PhD in the subject that you are studying.

The essential step is to locate a faculty member at the institution who will support your application to a doctoral program that includes CPT requirements as a mandatory component.

The CPT regulations for PhD students need to be by the immigration laws enforced by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).

However, in the end, your school will create guidelines based on the immigration laws.

More so, you will be responsible for conducting the necessary research to locate CPTs suitable for your particular study area.

Your dedication will decide whether or not you successfully obtain a PhD through the CPT program.

Expectations of a Day 1 PhD CPT Program

Ph.D. programs are rigorous and require significant academic work and research. Your doctoral advisor will guide you and assist you in selecting a research topic to pursue your dissertation.

You must attend classes, take tests, submit research articles, and complete a dissertation to earn your doctoral degree.

The coursework for the PhD degree and the topic of study should be directly tied to the CPT. Before starting the CPT, you must not only have an offer of employment but also get permission from the Department Safety Officer (DSO).

Who is Eligible to apply for a Day 1 PhD CPT Program?

Students from other countries studying in the United States on an F1 visa are eligible for an additional 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) and 24 months of STEM extension for each degree level.

Therefore, once you have completed your PhD, you will be qualified for a second OPT and a STEM OPT.

While enrolled in the PhD program, you can participate in both OPT and CPT addition to OPT.

More so, before being eligible for optional practical training (OPT), international students must first have completed one year of full-time study under the F1 student visa.

If you use Day 1 CPT at the PhD level, it is possible that you will not have any problems obtaining H1B approval or changing your status from F1 to H1.

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Types of Day 1 PhD CPT Programs

You can complete the practical training component of the CPT program on a part-time or full-time basis.

The CPT for part-time work permits you to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, whereas the CPT for full-time work says that you must work no more than 40 hours per week.

Because academic learning and research work will need to be pursued along with the work, choosing a full-time CPT is not a very recommended option.

This is because the academic work and research will have to be done online or on the weekends.

Universities in the United States that offer Day 1 PhD CPT Programs 

A select few universities in the United States provide Day 1 CPT PhD programs for their students.

Even at the universities that offer Day 1 CPT PhD programs, only a select few students are accepted each semester due to the competitive nature of the admissions process.

This is because doing research as part of the PhD requires you to devote more of your time to the coursework, and being involved in CPT training and academics can be challenging for most students.

Here are the universitiies in the US that offer Day 1 PhD CPT Programs.

1. United States University (USU):

The mission of the United States University is to improve the quality of life for international students who come to study in the United States.

If you can demonstrate to the USU that the employment directly connects to your degree program and if certain conditions are met, then the USU will permit you to participate in CPT.

CPT is not available to USU students while on holiday break.

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2. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology:

Harrisburg University, one of the nation’s top STEM schools, is conveniently located in the city’s financial district.

This educational institution provides various courses and activities for students interested in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.

Compared to other private schools in Pennsylvania, their tuition rates are among the most affordable.

Only those students who have not yet finished their graduate degree programs are eligible for CPT at this particular university.

When you apply for CPT, you will also be expected to have a job offer in your possession. You can do CPT full-time for 40 hours per week and start the experience in either the first or second semester of your studies.

While doing CPT, F-1 students can only take one online course per semester.

More so, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is one of the top universities that offer Day 1 PhD CPT Programs in the United States.

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3. University of the Cumberlands:

The University of the Cumberlands is a private university in Kentucky.

This institution offers more than forty different undergraduate majors and eight graduate academic concentrations. Together, they are home to more than 11,000 students at present.

They also have students that attend classes via the internet platform. You can get the answers to any queries you might have on their CPT page.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Day 1 CPT PhD Universities in the USA:

What is a day 1 CPT?

Generally, college students can begin using CPT on the first day of their course of study, allowing them to work while they study (Day 1 CPT).

Can I travel to India on day 1 CPT?

Day 1 Students are given Curricular Practical Trainings, or CPTs, with the expectation that they will be working the whole time. Because of this, you shouldn’t travel while you are on a CPT.

Can I apply for H1B while on day 1 CPT?

Day 1 CPT and H1B are two separate types of visas. Using Day 1 CPT may not have an impact on H1B status. It’s possible that the move from F-1 to H-1B may not be authorized. To move from F1 to H1B status, you may need to get your H1B visa stamped at a US Consulate.

Can I do day 1 CPT with PhD?

If you use Day 1 CPT at the PhD level, you may not have any trouble getting an H1B visa or changing your status from F1 to H1. There aren’t many universities that offer PhD programs that start on Day 1. Even at universities that do offer Day 1 CPT PhD programs, only a small number of students can join each semester.


You may be able to continue living and working in the United States by participating in a Day 1 PhD CPT university program.

The best thing to do is to establish communication with the educational institutions to which you could apply and start the application process as soon as possible.

If you are having trouble paying for your studies, you can apply for an international student loan.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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