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Day 1 CPT Study Abroad Masters Programs/Courses

What is CPT?

The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) provides two types of employment authorization for students studying on student visas in the United States (US): 

  1. Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) 
  2. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

CPT allows students to undertake full time or part time work opportunities while pursuing their studies. In this scenarios, the autorization to work is granted by the respective educational institution i.e the University/College where the student is enrolled.

On the other hand OPT provides after studies work opportunities i.e. a student can work once their studies are over. In this case authorization is required from the USCIS.


1StudentRequests CPT using the school’s established processes.
2Designated school official (DSO)Reviews request and determines student’s eligibility for CPT.
3Designated school official (DSO)Authorizes CPT in SEVIS for a specific employer.
Prints and signs Form I-20 with CPT authorization.
4StudentBegins work on or after the CPT start date.
Note: The student cannot start work prior to the start date. All work must end by the CPT end date.

Difference Between CPT and OPT

Type of Practical TrainingDistinction
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)– Training relates directly to the student’s major area of study.
– Training is an integral part of the school’s established curriculum.
– Designated school official (DSO) authorized CPT in SEVIS, and the authorization prints on the student’s Form I-20.
– Occurs before the student’s program end date on the Form I-20.
– Authorization is for one specific employer and for a specific period of time.
– Student must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized.
– CPT must be authorized before the student can begin work.
– Student can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time.
– One year of full-time CPT eliminates a student’s eligibility for OPT.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)– Training relates directly to the student’s major area of study.
– DSO recommends OPT in SEVIS.
– Student does not have to secure training before the DSO can recommend OPT.
– Authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and the student is issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
– Allows the student to work for any employer, as long as the training relates to the student’s major course of study
– Can occur before or after the student’s program end date.
– Periods of OPT cannot overlap.
– Students are eligible for an additional 12 months of OPT authorization, when they change to a higher educational level.

What is Day 1 CPT?

CPT from Day 1 or Day 1 CPT means that students with an F-1 visa is allowed to participate in the full time/part time work/internships from the day their study begins in the University. This facility is available with selected few universities only.

The curriculum and classes are designed in such a manner that a student can work and attend classes. Classes are usually conducted in hybrid manner, where student usually goes to college one weekend in a month/semester. Rest of the classes are conducted online.

In these Universities, CPT is an integral part of the programs and participation is required. CPT is authorized from day-1 for the duration of the program with no gaps or breaks.

Are these degrees different from degrees obtained from full time resident universities?

No. Also, this is not a part time course. Universities offering CPT from day 1 also provides the same degrees and recognition as the other universities which do not offer this facility. It is just the manner of conducting classes that is different. It is designed to provide students the option to gain professional experience along with their studies. This helps students in getting better job opportunities once their course is completed.

Are these courses Cheaper?

The tuition fees for these courses is usually not very high. Since all the classes not conducted physically on campus, the tuition fees tends to be relatively low. These usually range from $15K to $30K for full course (~10Lakh to 25 Lakhs INR) depending on the course duration.

What makes these courses cheaper is the authorization to work while studying. Since you start earning from Day 1 of your studies, you can clear you loan/debt much faster. Since you will gain additional experience in comparison to your peers studying in Non Day 1 CPT universities, you may get better salaries once you graduate/complete your course

How will a student get the job?

Placements in the USA does not work the way it works in India. Universities arrange the job fairs, assists students with documentation and understanding the local rules and regulations. But finding and getting a job is the responsibility of the students. Universities does not guarantee the jobs, they will give you the authorization which allows you to work.

Most of these universities are located in/near the major job hub regions like San Jose (California), Chicago (Illinois), Harrisburg (Philadelhpia), Tempa (Florida), Surprize (Arizona), etc. Getting a good job in these areas is relatively easier.

Do you need to live in the city where college is located?

Not mandatorily required. A student need not necessarily reside in the location where university is located. They can get a job in any city in the USA and can travel to the University Campus once in a month/semester whenever the classes are scheduled. This gives students an opportunity to look for jobs across entire USA and also they can live in a relatively cheaper city to reduce their living expenses.

Thus double benefits: Job + Savings on living expenses

Is CPT Legal?

Yes, it is fully Legal and is available to students on an F-1 Visa in the USA. It is authorized by the university you are enrolled into and is as per the guidelines of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Which Universities offer Day 1 CPT Courses

Jessup University

Humphreys University

National Louis University

Harrisburg University

Ottawa University

What is the downside of Day 1 CPT courses?

The only downside is that you will not experience a college campus culture that you will get in a full resident university. In the Day 1 CPT courses, classes are conducted in a hybrid manner where in you attend classes only one weekend in a month/semester, students miss the “university experience”.

But again, it depends on your priorities. If you are looking for jobs with your studies, relatively lower tuition cost and low debt on your back then these courses are for you. But if you are looking to study + enjoy your college education, then these courses are not suitable for you.

Typically what courses are offered in Day 1 CPT programs?

Only Masters course are provided under this and the courses depends on the University extending this facility. Some of the popular courses are as follows:

  • MS Computer Science
  • MS Business Data Analytics
  • MS Analytics
  • MS Biotechnology
  • MS Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • MS Project Management
  • MS Computer Information Sciences
  • MS Consumer Behavior and Decision Sciences
  • MS Cybersecurity Operations and Control Management
  • MS Healthcare Informatics
  • MS Human-Centered Interaction Design
    MS Information Systems Engineering & Management
  • Games and Simulations, Instructional Design
  • MS Techpreneurship
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA-IT)
  • EMBA – Cybersecurity for Managers
  • EMBA – Business Data Analytics
  • EMBA – Operational Effectiveness
  • EMBA – Health Care Management

Majorly universities provide STEM MS and MBA courses but non STEM course like MA in Accountancy are also available.

How Can I Apply to these Courses and Universities?

Application process is very simple and is similar to the application to any USA universities. You can reach out to our team member Mr. Arpit Bhandari for more details and also availing application fee waiver for a few universities. He will also assist you in getting the offer letter and I-20 from the universities in a fixed stipulated time.

Mobile: +91-9910313500


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