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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 do any 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 Derrick Howard, 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 Derrick Howard (derrick.howard@emory.edu) should be listed as your law school academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms. 

*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 Derrick Howard 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 University School of Law 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 Derrick Howard and the externship website for more information: Externship Programs: Summer Programs.


Summer Internship or Employment

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: 

  • Enroll in Law 574: Supervised Essay on Law Practice during registration for fall classes in March. You must be enrolled in this course before you can apply for CPT authorization. 
  • Once you have secured a summer position – and no later than two weeks before you start the position – you should request CPT authorization.
  • Go online to complete your request for CPT authorization from the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office via the student portal.
  • 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 Leena Kiber before applying online.

*Leena Kiber (lkiber@emory.edu) should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms. 

  • 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 “Law Practice Essay course” once, but you will need to complete two CPT authorization requests with ISSS – one for each employer. 

Second Summer or Academic Year Internship or Employment (Non-Externship):

If you plan to intern/work off-campus during the summer or during the Academic Year as a second or third year law student, and you were granted CPT previously through Law 574, you will need to submit a new CPT authorization request as outlined below: 

  • Once you secure your position, find 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, 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 topic that relates to the work you will be doing in the summer.
    • The paper should be a research paper, 12 to 15 pages in length.
    • For summer internships, the final submission to your faculty supervisor is no later than October 15 of the immediately following fall semester.
  • Once you have agreed on the topic of your paper with your faculty supervisor, complete the Practicum Research Paper request form from the Registrar’s Office and enroll in a one-credit course: Law 897(A) or (B).
  • After enrolling in 897(A) or (B) – and no later than two weeks before you start your summer position – you must request CPT authorization.
  • Go online to complete your request for CPT authorization from the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) officevia the student portal.
  • 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 Leena Kiber before applying online.

*Leena Kiber (lkiber@emory.edu) in the Career Center should be listed as your Law School academic advisor on all ISSS e-forms.  

  • 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 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.

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 a public sector position)