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CPT for F-1 Students in IR

Coursework for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 students.

If you are a foreign student on a F-1 visa. And you wish to pursue internship opportunities while you are in the U.S, you must meet the requirements of Curricular Practical Training. This applies to both paid and unpaid internships, summer and term-time internships.  (You are generally not required to participate in CPT if you perform all of your duties for your internship while outside of the U.S., e.g. remotely from home, even if you are employed by an U.S. based employer.  Please discuss your specific situation with your ISSS advisor.)

For more information regarding the CPT, please consult with ISSS. (And see this informative page:

For the specific steps to follow to request authorization for a CPT, please read this page carefully:

Part of the requirement for doing an internship under CPT is to take a “CPT-related course” This is a course that counts towards your major, and has a component that ties your internship experience to your coursework.  The internship that you engage in must be connected to your course of study as an IR major.  It is your responsibility to provide an explicit rationale as to why the pursuit of a particular internship will directly contribute to your studies as an International Relations Major.

In the IR major, you may satisfy this CPT-related course in one of three ways:

  • You can do INTR2999 (formerly INTR199) Independent Research with an IR faculty member. It is your responsibility to propose an appropriate topic for research, closely related to your intended internship. Just like any independent study, you will be required to agree on a research topic, assignments, and final paper, as well as frequency of meetings/consultations with your supervising faculty. This option may only be used once.

  • You may do an additional research paper in INTR3500 (formerly INTR350) Research Methods and Practice in IR. You would use the tools learned in INTR350 to address a specific problem or issue you encountered in your internship. For obvious reasons, this option is limited to your junior year.

  • You may do an additional research paper in Political Science.  The Political Science department has indicated that any course taught by standing faculty in that department is eligible.  If you wish to avail yourself of this option, you must come and discuss it with Dr. Nishino at your early in the process as possible.

If you do your internship over the summer, the CPT-related course must be done the following Fall Semester. If you are doing a term-time internship, the course work must be done concurrently with your internship.

If you are thinking about pursuing an internship, please make an appointment to see Dr. Nishino as early in the process as you can.