Day 1 CPT (Meaning, Employment, Types, Schools) in 20228 min read


What is the main reason people apply for Day 1 CPT?

This is a question most international students with an F1 visa ask because they want to understand the process of schooling and working.

Most international students want to pursue an advanced degree while working either full-time or part-time, so they apply for CPT to help them get a job or employment in line with their major or course of study.

Some people are against the process of Day 1 CPT because of the implication or issues it might cause to your immigration or legal status.

This article will explain everything you need to know about Day 1 CPT, the types, Day 1 CPT colleges/universities, the requirements, and how to apply for it.

What is Day 1 CPT?

CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training. It is for students having an F1 visa.


An F1 visa is an academic visa for students who want to study in the United States for a full-time program in a well-recognized or accreditated university.

Thus, Day 1 CPT allows students to start their CPT activities or program right from the first day of the academic program. It implies that they can work while studying in their desired college and still get training.

CPT programs are work-study programs for international students to help them handle their financial needs and not take student loans that might be difficult to pay off at the end of the study.

Forms of Employment for International Students:

There are two forms of employment for international and local students courtesy of CPT: They include:

Off-campus Employment:

CPT allows international students to work for a minimum of about 40 hours a week while still studying.


This work-study process is legal and exposes the student to internship programs that gain the student more experience.

On-campus Employment:

The on-campus employment follows the Day 1 CPT. This is such that international students can work on-campus for a minimum of about 20 hours a week.

The difference with the off-campus is that here, the student can work on-campus, and vice versa.

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Types of Day 1 CPT programs:

There are three major types of Day 1 CPT programs. They include:

  • Degree based CPT
  • Course-based CPT
  • Cooperative CPT
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Degree based CPT:

The degree-based curricular practical training is a type of CPT requiring that all international students take an internship program to finish their coursework and get the degree.

Course based CPT:

The course-based curricular practical training is a type of CPT that requires all students within a specific course work to acquire employment based on detailed course work and earn a degree through the process.

Cooperative CPT:

Cooperative-based curricular practical training is a type of CPT where an agreement exists between an employer and a department.

Work experience is considered part of an established formal cooperative educational agreement.

Is Day 1 CPT legal?

Well, Day 1 CPT is legal. However, there can be some complications that might arise due to its process.

Some students tend to lose concentration for study since they may try their best to make money instead of focusing on studies.

However, some universities in the US made it that students have to complete a full-year program (2 semesters) to qualify for a CPT program.

Engaging in Day 1 CPT can also affect the student on future employee’s approval for an H1-B visa if the student didn’t maintain their legal status.


According to the Patel Law Group, let’s say, for example, that you are a student who has taken day 1 CPT as of January 7, 2019. You intend to apply for an H-1B in FY 2020.

Your application gets filed on April 1, 2019, and USCIS issues an RFE on July 1, 2019. The RFE gets responded to with all the necessary documents, and you receive a decision in, say September 1, 2019.

Even if USCIS approves the petition, they deny your request for a change of status from F-1 to H-1B on the basis that you have taken day 1 CPT, which they consider to be a violation of your F-1 status.

This means you would have to leave the US and go for visa stamping to re-enter H-1B status.

Eligibility requirements for Day 1 CPT:

  • The CPT program/training must start from Day 1 (Day 1 CPT)
  • The Student must maintain an F1 visa (student visa) every semester.
  • Each student must enroll into an internship program in-line with their major.
  • Must not be a visiting exchange student (A student from a partner school).
  • There must be a CPT job offer.

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Top Day 1 CPT Universities in the US:

Day 1 CPT Universities are universities in the United States that allow international students to start taking training from the first semester into college. The only criteria here is that the curriculum must accept Day 1 CPT.

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There are a couple of universities in the United States that offer Curricular Practical Training. They include:

University of the Cumberlands:

The University of the Cumberlands, an institution of regional distinction, is a private institution located in the heart of Appalachia. They offer Day 1 CPT programs in more than 40 major fields of study.

According to the University of the Cumberlands, applications for Optional Practical Training can be submitted up to 90 days before your program end date and no later than 60 days after your program end date.

Important: The applications for CPT are tailored to the term and employer. A new request is required if a student’s employment or program of study changes.


Even if certain requests have previously been applied, accepted, or granted, submitting a request for one term does not immediately carry over to the following term. Submit the appropriate application and/or renewal for each term.

It is the obligation of the student to keep track of work information and update their DSO. More so, email your designated DSO with any questions or concerns.

Spring Application closes April 10, 2022.

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United States University:

The United States University in San Diego, California, offers Day 1 CPT for the following courses or majors;

  • Nursing and Health Sciences,
  • Business Intelligence,
  • General Management,
  • Masters of Arts in Education (MAEd),
  • Teaching Credentialing Preparation Program.

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Campbellsville University:

Campbellsville University permits full-time or part-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

It is located in Campbellsville, KY, and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

In the Campbell University Graduate Business Programs, the Office of Foreign Student Services (OISS) advises nearly 5,000 international students from 49 countries.

The majority of these students are non-traditional students: young adult professionals who have completed at least one graduate degree in the United States prior to enrolling at CU–Louisville.


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Sullivan University:

You can apply for CPT at Sullivan University. The university is located in Louisville & Lexington, KY.

Sullivan University works hard to attract students who are dedicated to pursuing higher education and offers a variety of programs that are tailored to assist students to prepare for professions in their chosen sector.

As a result, several undergraduate programs demand typical academic “on-the-job” experiential/practicum/externship learning that is a mandatory component of the defined curriculum.

These opportunities allow students to observe and participate in administrative, technical, and clinical activities under direct supervision in an approved setting, allowing them to apply theory to practice.

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Stratford University:

Stratford University, located at 3101 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205, USA, provides CPT opportunities for F-1 Students. The students have to obtain a form I-20 with the DSO to start CPT to enroll in the following courses:

  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Managing Information Technology
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Before, during, and after their academic programs at Stratford University, the Overseas Student Office (ISO) provides assistance and support to international students.

The International Student Office is responsible for the following responsibilities.

  • Advising prospective students on their academic options at Stratford University.
  • Providing potential students with information on the Visa application procedure.
  • Providing eligible applicants with a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).
  • Assisting with pre-departure planning to guarantee a safe and timely arrival in the United States.
  • Providing employment authorization for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
  • Making a recommendation to USCIS for employment authorization through Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • Providing information about transferring to Stratford University from another institution.

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International Technological University:

At the International Technological University, all programs opt for CPT only for eligible students located in San Jose, California.

It is one of the universities offering CPT from the first semester.

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Virginia International University:

The Virginia international university offers Day 1 CPT, located in Fairfax, Virginia.

At FXUA, curricular practical training (CPT) is described as employment that is an intrinsic component of the established curriculum, such as an internship, cooperative education, or practicum and is provided by sponsoring firms through FXUA’s cooperative agreements.


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Knowledge Systems Institute:

Knowledge Systems Institute is an institute that provides computer training to equip students with the skills to get into the world of IT. They offer Day 1 CPT for all students in the first semester.

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CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training. It helps students studying abroad to work, cater to their financial needs, and avoid taking student loans.

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