Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Authorization

Do You Need to Apply for CPT Authorization?

If you are an F-1 student on an Emory I-20, and seek to doany type of off-campus work, externship, internship, etc. – whether for pay, for credit, or as a volunteer – you should secure CPT authorization (or, in the alternative, OPT authorization) before you begin, so as not to jeopardize your immigration status.

For all CPT Requests:

  • You must currently hold valid F-1 status.
  • You must have completed at least one academic year as a full-time student at a U.S. institution before the work, externship, internship, etc. begins.
  • CPT requests based on course enrollment require successful completion of that course. You should not drop or withdraw from the course, nor transfer to another school prior to course completion.
  • Eligible positions can be paid or unpaid, with a non-profit or private sector organization. You can work part time (20 hours/week or less) during the fall/spring and full time (more than 20 hours/week) during official school breaks, unless the summer is your first or last term.

Externships

 If You Are Completing a Fall or Spring Semester Externship:

  • Upon acceptance of your externship offer via Symplicity, Professor Sarah Shalf, director of the externship program, will enroll you in the corresponding externship course.
  • If you’re enrolled in a criminal law, public interest or legislative policy course – or working with any other non-profit organization – we strongly recommend that you request CPT authorization (if you’re eligible to do so).
  • For all other courses, you’re required to request CPT authorization.
  • You must request CPT authorization at least two weeks before your scheduled externship start date.
  • Go online to complete your request for CPT authorization from the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office via the student portal.

*Professor Sarah Shalf should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms.  Her contact information is Sarah.Shalf@emory.edu.

*You will need to request and then upload a formal employment offer letter from your externship supervisor (see below or this “Required Documents” tab for letter requirements). You should also email a copy of this letter to Professor Shalf before applying online.

  • If CPT is approved, ISSS will email you when it’s time to pick up your updated, CPT I-20 from their office.
  • You cannot start your externship (including orientation or training) without your new, CPT I-20.  Doing so will jeopardize your immigration status and Emory Law School enrollment.

If You Are Completing a Summer Externship:

During the summer before your final JD year (first summer for AJD students; second

summer for other JD students), you may be eligible to enroll in an externship, for which CPT authorization will be required.  Please consult Professor Sarah Shalf and the externship website for more information: Externship Programs: Summer Programs.

Summer Internship or Employment

If This is Your First Summer Internship or Employment:

If you plan to intern/work off-campus during the summer, and this is your first CPT request, you will need to request CPT authorization as outlined below: 

  • During registration for spring semester classes, prior to the summer you plan to work, you must register for the one-credit “Professional Narrative in Practice” course.  Email Laura Yearout in the Career Center at Laura.Yearout@emory.edu to request enrollment in the course (include your student ID number).

  *You must complete this course in the preceding spring semester, in order to satisfy CPT requirements, and hence be eligible for any summer employment. 

  *Even if you don’t have an employment offer at the time of spring registration, if you plan to seek a summer position, you MUST sign up for the course.

  *Laura Yearout should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms. Her contact information is Laura.Yearout@emory.edu.

  *You will need to upload an employment offer letter from your summer employer (see below or this “Required Documents” tab for letter requirements) and email a copy of the letter to Laura Yearout before applying online.

  • If approved, ISSS will email you when it’s time to pick up your updated, CPT I-20 from their office.
  • You cannot start work without your new, CPT I-20.  Doing so will jeopardize your immigration status and Emory Law School enrollment.
  • IF YOU HAVE TWO SUMMER POSITIONS:  If you have two opportunities during your first summer working or volunteering, you only will need to register for “Professional Narrative in Practice” once, but you will need to complete two CPT authorization requests with ISSS – one for each employer. 

If This is Your Second Summer Internship or Employment:

If you plan to intern/work off-campus during the summer, and you were granted CPT previously through Professional Narrative in Practice, you will need to submit a new CPT authorization request as outlined below: 

  • Once you secure your summer position, you should ask a full-time, non-adjunct faculty member (who teaches in an area related to your position) to supervise a Practicum Research Paper.  For example, if your job is with an intellectual property firm, you would identify and approach a professor who teaches in the IP-area and then complete a related research paper.

  *Reach agreement with your faculty supervisor on a topic that relates to the work you will be doing in the summer.  (If you need to adjust your topic once the summer        starts, based on the actual work you are doing, you may do so, in consultation with your faculty supervisor.)

  *The paper should be a research paper, 12 to 15 pages in length.

  *You should work on the paper during the summer, for final submission to your faculty supervisor no later than October 15 of the immediately following fall semester.

  *Laura Yearout in the Career Center should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms.  Her contact information is Laura.Yearout@emory.edu.

  *You will need to upload an employment offer letter from your summer employer (see below or this “Required Documents” tab for letter requirements). You should email a     copy of the letter to Laura Yearout before applying online.

  • If approved, ISSS will email you when it’s time to pick up your updated, CPT I-20 from their office.
  • You cannot start work (including orientation or training) without your new, CPT I-20.  Doing so will jeopardize your immigration status and Emory Law School enrollment.
  • IF YOU HAVE TWO SUMMER POSITIONS:  If you have two opportunities during your first summer working or volunteering, you only will need to register for one Practicum Research course, but you will need to complete two CPT authorization requests with ISSS – one for each employer. 

Semester Internship/Employment (Other Than an Externship)

If Your Internship or Employment is During the Semester (Other Than an Externship):

If you secure any type of off-campus internship/work/etc. during the academic year, you must request CPT authorization as outlined below:

  • If classes have been in session for one month or more, you must meet with Laura Yearout to discuss the impact your potential employment may have on your academic success.
  • Once you’ve met with Laura Yearout and have been approved to proceed with the CPT request, you should ask a full-time, non-adjunct faculty member (who teaches in an area related to your position) to supervise a Practicum Research Paper.  For example, if your job is with an intellectual property firm, you would identify and approach a professor who teaches in the IP-area and then complete a related research paper.

    *Reach an agreement with your faculty supervisor on a specific paper topic that relates to the work you will be doing.  (If you need to adjust your topic once the semester        starts, based on the actual work you are doing, you may do so, in consultation with your faculty supervisor.)

    *The paper should be a research paper, 12 to 15 pages in length.

    * You should work on the paper during the semester, for final submission to your faculty supervisor no later than the last day of the exam period for that semester.

  *Laura Yearout in the Career Center should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms.  Her contact information is Laura.Yearout@emory.edu.

  *You will need to upload an employment offer letter from your employer (see below or this “Required Documents” tab for letter requirements). You should also email a copy     of the letter to Laura Yearout before applying online.

  • If approved, ISSS will email you when it’s time to pick up your updated, CPT I-20 from their office.
  • You cannot start work (including orientation or training) without your new, CPT I-20.  Doing so will jeopardize your immigration status and Emory Law enrollment.
  • NOTE: You must complete a separate CPT request and separate Practicum Research course for each semester you are employed.

Employment Offer Letter Requirements

Your employment offer letter should meet the following requirements:

  • Be on the employer’s letterhead
  • Be signed by the hiring manager
  • State your job title
  • Include a brief description of the goals and objectives of your employment
  • Have the exact start date and end date for your employment
  • Include the full physical address of your place of employment, including zip code
  • State the number of hours you are expected to work per week
  • Indicate the name and email address of your supervisor
  • Indicate the expected salary for your position (or “zero salary,” if it is an unpaid position)