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Ph.D. Programs With Day 1 CPT
Living in the U.S. on a visa can be tricky. It’s a tightrope of deadlines, expiration dates, and eligibility criteria that you need to fulfill to hold a legitimate visa. Being eligible to earn an income in the U.S. is also another story. That is why universities and schools have created Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programs that allow students to work whilst studying.
What CPT’s are available for you? More importantly, does CPT for Ph.D. students even exist? Even if it is possible, how will you finance it? Below are some answers to the questions you may have about Ph.D. Day 1 CPT.
What is CPT
Curricular Practical Training (also called CPT) is the work-related training and experience that forms an integral part of a qualification. Students on F1 visas often have CPT’s worked into their degree program. CPT employment will be in the form of on-campus employment or a paid internship off campus. The employment itself will be in the field in which you are currently studying and will help you gain valuable knowledge and experience in a real work environment.
Is There CPT for Ph.D. Students?
The more common CPT’s for F1 students are for Master’s degrees. But some schools may offer a day 1 CPT Ph.D. in your field of study. The most important thing is to find an advisor at the university who will recommend that you pursue a Ph.D. with CPT programs as a set requirement. CPT rules for Ph.D. students need to comply with the immigration laws administered by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). But, ultimately your school forms its own rules within the immigration laws for its students.
You will need to research and find CPT’s available for your specific field of study. Your effort will determine whether you get a Ph.D. with the CPT program.
Types of CPT
There are many types of CPT’s for students. It doesn’t matter what field of studies you are specializing in. Here are the main types of CPT for Ph.D. students.
Required CPT for Ph.D. Students
For this type, your course or degree requires you to complete a CPT program. You will not graduate unless you complete the CPT. The CPT program is woven into the curriculum of the degree. The CPT will obviously be in the direct field of your particular research. A Ph.D. advisor at your university will submit a written statement that supports these days 1 CPT Ph.D. programs.
Optional CPT for Ph.D. Students
These type of day 1 CPT Ph.D. programs are not required for graduation. But, it will supply you with the option to take part in one, which could be very helpful for your career. Please still make sure that you comply with all the rules of the Ph.D. day 1 CPT regulations at your school. Make sure that it allows you to accept employment off campus before you blindly proceed to do so.
Part-Time Vs. Full-Time CPT for Ph.D. Students
There are two sub-categories in the CPT rules for Ph.D. students. You are either allowed to work part-time or full-time.
- Part-Time – This regulation will allow you to work 20 hours per week. You are not allowed to work more than these 20 hours. If you do, it will be regarded as a violation of your visa. Your employment may either be on or off campus (according to the agreement between your university, the USCIS, and yourself).
- Full-Time – This regulation allows you to work for 40 hours a week. But, remember you may still only be on a student visa. So you are then still required to fulfill the mandatory studying requirements whilst you are working. Many students take online classes after work or over the weekends. Once again, keep a close relationship with your school to ensure that you fulfill all the requirements to keep your visa status. Your employment will be on or off campus as agreed and allowed by the USCIS.
Ph.D. CPT Eligibility Criteria
Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into your school and demand a day 1 CPT Ph.D. You need to be eligible for it. Here are the main requirements for a Ph.D. with CPT.
Prescribed by an Advisor
Most programs are supervised by advisors at the different day 1 CPT universities for Ph.D. Your advisor must prescribe a CPT program before you will be eligible. Ph.D. courses are usually research programs only. But, you will be eligible if your advisor can prescribe that work-related experience is necessary for the completion of your Ph.D.
A Valid F1 Visa
You must be the holder of a legal F1 visa that allows you to study in the U.S.
Basic F1 visa requirements are:
- Visa must be properly maintained for each semester of studies
- You need a chosen major
- You need a specific and major-related internship
- You can’t be a visiting exchange student
University Enrollment and Course Credits
Your course of study must also comply with the following criteria:
- You must be enrolled for a full academic year (during the CPT)
- You must be enrolled for 1 to 2 units of a major related internship
- CPT must be a prescribed part of the course curriculum
- You need to submit a written CPT job offer with the CPT authorization request
- You need a university approved health insurance provider
Documentation for Ph.D. CPT
Here is a list of the paperwork you will need to apply for day 1 CPT Ph.D. programs. Please note this list is generalized and your school may require other documentation. So consult with your school to make sure you comply with all the requirements.
Documentation for day 1 CPT Ph.D. universities:
- CPT authorization request form
- CPT online workshop or other class completions proof (like an email or certificate)
- Ph.D. advisor recommendation form for CPT
- A detailed training description from your employer that aligns with the curriculum of your school
- A copy of your current valid I-20
- A copy of your current valid I-94
- Proof of your enrollment into the applicable CPT course
How to Apply for CPT as a Ph.D. Student
Here are the basic steps you need to fulfill to apply for your CPT as a Ph.D. student.
1. Plan Your Application
The application processing time and authorization can take longer than 2 weeks. Plan well and get your paperwork in order ahead of time to prevent any undue delays.
2. Take Your School’s Pre-CPT Prescribed Class
Some schools have online classes that are prescribed. Complete the class and obtain proof that you have successfully completed it.
3. Detailed Training Description
Make contact with your CPT employer and get a Detailed Training Description outlining the experience you will gain with them.
4. CPT Authorization Department of Your School
Schedule a meeting with the CPT authorization department of your school. Take all the necessary paperwork along and complete the interview and application.
5. International Student and Scholar Advisor Review
A representative or advisor will review your application and present you with a CPT I-20 once you have been approved. This can take up 2 weeks or more.
6. Approval Confirmation
You will receive confirmation of your approval (most probably per e-mail). Then only are you allowed to start working with your CPT.
7. Sign, Date, and Store Your CPT Approval
You need to sign and date your CPT approval documentation. Store it in a safe and accessible place for whenever you need it in the future.
Ph.D. Programs with Day 1 CPT
Here you can find a few good options to consider for your day 1 CPT Ph.D. program.
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
This university runs a whole host of programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. They have some of the lowest tuition fees in the state of Pennsylvania for private schools. You can contact them to ask some more questions about the Harrisburg university Ph.D. CPT.
University of the Cumberlands
This school has over 40 majors and 8 focus areas for graduate programs. They currently host more than 11,000 students combined. They also have students who are enrolled online. Their CPT page will help to answer any questions you may have. Make contact with the University of Cumberlands Ph.D. day 1 CPT department to see if you are eligible to study with them.
United States University
The USU is situated in San Diego California. They have a dedicated CPT program for internationals at the school. Just make sure whether they offer a program that will accommodate your field of Ph.D.
Loans for CPT Ph.D. Students
Even if you are able to take part in CPT, it does not guarantee that you will be able to cover all your expenses while finishing your Ph.D. Tuition fees and other studying-related expenses tend to pile up and can easily cause a lot of added pressure.
Personal loans for international students from Stilt can help to cover your costs and ease the loan. You don’t even need a cosigner to be eligible for this loan.
Here are the basic steps to getting a personal loan for Ph.D. CPT students with Stilt:
You can apply online for an international student loan between $1,000 and $25,000. Read through the basic eligibility criteria and get your paperwork in order. Make sure you submit any relevant information that may be required. Stronger applications get better loan offers.
You will receive feedback within 24 hours of submitting your application. If everything is in order, you will receive a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return the note if you have decided to accept the loan.
The loan will reflect in your account within 2-3 business days. Setup your repayment method online and start repaying your loan.
It’s that simple!
As a bonus, if you complete between 6 and 12 months of successful monthly payments you can apply for an international student loan refinancing. It can help you to get a lower interest rate on your loan and lower your monthly payments.
Ph.D. day 1 CPT university programs can help you to stay and work in the U.S. Make contact with the schools that you are eligible for and start applying early. You can also apply for an international student loan whenever you have difficulty paying your study related expenses. With the help of Stilt, you can have a successful career in the U.S.!