Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) is a program for F-1 visa holders that functions as an alternative work-study program or internship relating to the student’s major. CPT allows students to work up to 40 hours per week for 11 months without affecting their ability to participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPT and part-time CPT are available to American National University international students at no additional cost.
“By learning works skills, you become a better student, and the knowledge from classes helps you to become a better worker,” said Juan Carlos Mejia, a student currently enrolled in a CPT program as an international admissions representative for ANU. Other students have worked in roles as accountants, software developers, business process analysts, and web developers during their CPT program.
The difference between CPT and OPT is that CPT is only available to students during their enrollment in academic programs, whereas students are eligible for OPT for one year after graduating from their institution.
CPT fulfills the practicum requirement for students in graduate programs at ANU. Students must therefore find a sponsoring employer to offer them a temporary position that conforms with the student’s curriculum requirements. The approval is as simple as sending the practicum form and employment offer letter to the student’s academic department chair. Because ANU’s graduate curricula include a practicum, it is possible for students to start CPT from day one of their programs, subject to departmental approval.