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20 Universities in the United States that Offer Day One CPT

Students who are admitted to the United States must be enrolled in Curricular Practical Training, or CPT

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20 Universities in the United States that Offer Day I CPT

The F-1 Visa is visa that is reserved for foreign national academic students. This visa admits foreign national students to the United States as full-time students so that they can study at an accredited academic institution, such as a college, a university, a seminary, a conservatory, an academic high school, an elementary school, or any other school setting or language training program. 

Students who are admitted to the United States must be enrolled in Curricular Practical Training, or CPT. CPT allows international students to acquire employment training; it also allows them to work in a paid internships. Alien students have the option to work on a full-time basis (more than 20 hours a week) or on a part-time basis (20 hours or less per week). Through CPT, international students can both earn an income in U.S. currency and gain valuable work experience in their field of study. 

The Purpose of CPT

While American colleges and universities provide work study programs for enrolled students, the majority of these work study programs are only offered to domestic students (U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents) because these programs are largely funded by the federal government. Because academic institutions are unable to provide federal financial aid to foreign national students, payments for work study opportunities for these students has to come out of a school’s budget or be funded by a private organization. As a result, the options for work study programs for international students are very limited. 

In an effort to provide F-1 Visa students with the opportunity to work while they are studying so that they can earn an income and acquire practical training and experience, the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program was created. CPT provides foreign students with the assistance needed to acquire a paid on- or off-campus position. 

  • On-campus employment. Through CPT, international students are legally allowed to work an on-campus position on a part-time basis (20 hours or less per week). 

  • Off-campus employment. Most CPT work study programs offer foreign students the ability to legally acquire off-campus jobs or paid internships for a minimum of 40 hours a week. 

Types of CPT

There are three types of CPT programs, and they include: 

  • Degree based CPT. All students must complete an internship or work experience in order to obtain a degree. 

  • Course-based CPT. All students who are enrolled in a specific course must acquire employment so that they can complete a research project based on said employment in order to earn a degree. 

  • Co-operative CPT. When work experience is considered a part of an established formal co-operative educational agreement between a school and an employer. 

Day 1 CPT Universities

Generally, CPT work study programs allow international students to begin working either during the first semester that they are enrolled in classes or after they have successfully completed their first year at an academic institution. However, as per the guidelines, F-1 visa holders are eligible for CPT from day 1 of the first semester of school if their curriculum requires practical training, as is often the case for graduate students (students who are seeking a master’s degree). As such, many U.S. colleges and universities offer programs that allow international students to begin practical training from the first day of their first semester of college. These schools are known as Day 1 CPT universities. 

Day 1 CPT Eligibility Requirements

In order to acquire day 1 CPT authorization, you must meet the following requirements: 

Valid F-1 Visa

  • You must maintain the F-1 visa requirements for each semester you are enrolled in school

  • You must have selected a major; if you do not have a major, you will not be eligible for day 1 CPT

  • You may not be a visiting exchange student

  • You must be enrolled for one full academic year 

Meet Course Credit Requirements

  • You must be enrolled for at least 1 to credit units of an internship that is related to your major

  • CPT must be a vital part of your course requirements 

  • You must have a valid job or internship offer

  • CPT must be completed in your field of study

Top Day 1 CPT Universities in the United States

There are several colleges and universities that are now offering day 1 CPT work study programs. In other words, these schools offer international students the opportunity to acquire CPT from the first day of their first semester of school in the United States. 

If you are an international student who has successfully maintained an F-1 Visa status and your field of study requires practical training, you are likely wondering which academic institutions offer day 1 CPT work study programs. 

In an effort to help you locate a college or university that offers day 1 CPT programs, we have compiled a list of 20 academic institutions in the United States where you can apply for CPT authorization on your first day of school in the U.S. 

University of the Cumberlands

Situated in Williamsburg, Kentucky and founded by Baptist ministers, the University of the Cumberlands is a Christian-based secondary school of education that offers a day 1 CPT program.  This school is largely centered on liberal arts programs and offers undergraduate (Bachelor’s degrees), as well as master’s and doctorate programs. Programs of study vary widely; examples include Business Administration, Psychology, and Physician Assistant Studies. Education is a major area of study offered at the University of the Cumberlands, with degrees available on all levels. 

Vanderbilt University

Named for Cornelius Vanderbilt, a 19th century American philanthropist and the primary sponsor of school, Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873. With a student body of approximately 12,800, the school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Vanderbilt University offers four different colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Science, the Peabody College of Education and Human Development, the School of Engineering, and the Blair School of Music, and there are a wide range of majors available, such as: 

  • African American and Diaspora Studies

  • American Studies

  • Art

  • Biochemistry and Chemical Biology

  • Child Studies

  • Computer Science

  • Neuroscience

  • Physics 

And many more. Vanderbilt University is famed for its small student-to-faculty ratio. Of course, it also offers a 1 day CPT program. 

International Technological University

Located in San Jose, California, International Technological University was founded in 1994 by Dr. Shu-Park Chan. The school offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degree programs that focus on business and technology programs. Examples of programs of study include Philosophy, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering Management, Digital Arts, Business Administration, and Interdisciplinary Sciences. This school also focuses on the American STEM Initiative and provides an Academic Internship Program for students. International Technological University also provides a day 1 CPT program. 

United States University

This San Diego, California secondary school of education offers several day 1 CPT programs for international students, and these programs are offered in a variety of subject areas. Examples of programs of study include Nursing and Health Sciences, Business Intelligence, General Management, Masters of Arts in Education (MAEd), and a Teaching Credentialing Preparation Program. Since its inception more than two decades ago, United States University has focuses on helping immigrant students achieve degrees in the United States. 

New Jersey Institute of Technology

A Top 100 National University, a To-Ranked Public Honors College, and voted #1 Nationally in Student Economic Upward Mobility, New Jersey Institute of Technology is a highly acclaimed academic institution in the United States. Founded more than 130 years ago, NJIT is focused on helping national and international students achieve secondary and post-secondary degrees. The school offers several colleges, including the Newark College of Engineering, the Hillier College of Architecture and Design, the College of Science and Liberal Arts, the Martin Tuchman School of Management, the Albert Dorman Honors College, and the Ying Wu College of Computing. The school also offers several programs of study, such as Business, Engineering, and Math and Science. 

Westcliff University 

Also located in California, Westcliff University offers a day 1 CPT program for its international students. According to the schools website, Westcliff’s mission statement is to “educate, inspire, and empower students from around the world to acquire the competencies to excel personally and professional through practical, innovative, high-quality distance and campus programs”. Westcliff University offers two colleges: 

  • College of Business, which offers the following degree programs:

    • Bachelor of Business (BBA)

    • Masters of Business (MBA)

    • Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

    • Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

    • Doctor of Business (DBA)

    • Undergraduate Certificates

    • Graduate Certificates

  • College of Education, which offers the following degree programs: 

    • MA TESOL

    • BAED

    • TESOL Certificate

Lindenwood University

Located in St. Charles, Missouri, Lindenwood University offers several day 1 CPT programs for international students. The school offers numerous undergraduate degree programs, with options ranging from Accounting to Early Childhood Education, and from Military Science and Aerospace Studies to Political Science. There are also several accelerated undergraduate degree programs, options of which include Criminology and Criminal Justice, Gerontology Certificate, Health Management, and Interdisciplinary Studies. There are also several accelerated graduate degree programs, with majors ranging from Criminal Justice Administration, Fine Arts in Writing, and Information Technology Management. 

Trine University

Trine University was founded in 1884 and is situated in the state of Indiana. This school offers multiple program and degree options. Bachelor’s Degrees programs include majors in the areas of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering and Computing, and Health Sciences. Trine University also offers graduate degree programs, such as Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science with a Major in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Engineering Management, Master of Science in Information Studies, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. 

Monroe College

Situated in the Bronx, New York, Monroe College was founded in 1933 as a female only school. Today, Monroe College admits both females and males, as well as international students, and of course, a day 1 CPT program for international students. There are several undergraduate programs of study available, such as Business and Accounting, Culinary, Education, Hospitality, and Criminal Justice. There are also several Master’s degree program options, such as Health Care Administration, Criminal Justice, Accounting, Computer Science, Hospitality, Education, and Health Care Administration.

Other Day 1 CPT Universities 

In addition to the above-mentioned academic institutions, the following colleges and schools also offer day 1 CPT programs for international students: 

  • Knowledge Systems Institute

  • Wichita State University

  • Globe University/Minnesota School of Business

  • Infoserve Technologies Institute

  • Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

  • Virginia International University

  • University of North America

  • Stratford University

  • Goldey-Beacom College

  • Everest University

  • Hamline University 

Should F-1 Visa Holders Consider a Day 1 CPT Program? 

It depends on your specific circumstances. If you meet all eligibility requirements and your curriculum program requires it, you may wish to apply to a university that offers a day 1 CPT program. It’s important to note, however, that a day 1 CPT program could potentially lead to some immigration issues; filing for H1B filing, a visa extension, and GC processing, for example. Additionally, you should not attend a college or university simply because it offers a day 1 CPT program. It’s important to consider your specific needs; for instance, you should only attend a university that offers a day 1 CPT program if it meets your specific academic requirements. It’s a good idea to fully research any academic institution you are considering attending before you apply; find out about the degree programs that are offered, the pre-requisite requirements, and cost before applying to a university. 

Summing It Up

There are numerous colleges and universities in the United States that offer Day 1 CPT programs for international students. If you meet the qualifications and your program of study requires you to begin an internship immediately, attending one of these universities may be in your best interest; however, do make sure that the school you are attending meets your academic needs and that you meet the school’s pre-requisite requirements. 

A Day 1 CPT program may or may not be in your best interest. Do your due diligence and thoroughly research and consider a university before applying. 

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