Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

CPT Process for Internships



  • Students must have a written job offer when submitting for CPT

  • CPT can be authorized by the IPO if the internship is credit-earning, directly related to the student's field of study and integral to their program curriculum

  • CPT is possible in summer (most common), and sometimes in fall or spring

    • BS/BA students can participate in part-time (20 hours or less) CPT during the fall or spring semesters

    • Master's students can participate in part-time (20 hours or less) CPT during the fall or spring semesters; see details and contact Elizabeth Parolski MS Advisor for approval

    • PhD students can participate in part-time or full-time CPT during the fall or spring semesters.

  • CPT is available only prior to the completion of a degree program

  • CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program

See important additional CPT details and requirements on the International Programs Office (IPO) website


  • Completed two full semesters in F-1 immigration status
    • If enrolled in your second semester, review of your CPT will be delayed until you have completed the semester and your grades are posted
  • Good Academic Standing
  • Satisfactory Progress toward degree



Pre-Approval Steps (accepted on a rolling-basis through June)

    • Student verifies that job offer includes all necessary information (follow up with employer, as needed)
      • Must be on company letterhead (with complete mailing address)
      • Must contain ALL of the following information:
        • Job title
        • Brief description of job duties
        • Part time or full time or hours working
        • Job location (address where you will actually work)
        • Exact employment start and end date (must be within the summer academic period)
        • Salary and related compensation
    • Student initiates Experience request on Handshake.

      • After logging in, click on Career Center > Experiences > Request an Experience

      • Complete survey including:

        • Experience Type = Undergraduate Internship for Academic Credit Experience Contract (UGRAD); International Graduate Students Internship or Externship for Credit Experience Contract (Required for CPT) (GRAD)

        • Faculty Sponsor Full Name = Jack Wileden (UGRAD); Mark Corner (MS); Andrew McGregor (MS/PhD, PhD)

        • Faculty Sponsor UMass Email Address = cicscareers@cics.umass.edu (UGRAD); mcorner@umass.edu (MS); amcgrego@umass.edu (MS/PhD, PhD)

        • What is the internship Department and Course Number? = CICS 396T (UGRAD); CICS 596T (GRAD)

        • How many credits do you wish to earn? = 1

        • What is your Academic Project? = Post-internship reflection

      • Save Experience As a Draft; then scroll down to the New Attachment Button (if you submit before attaching, go back into Edit mode and attach)

      • Attach the Offer Letter document

      • Attach signed Field Experience Risk Acknowledgement Form

    • CICS Careers reviews after receiving email notification from Handshake; confirms student eligibility in SPIRE, verifies internship is CICS-related and offer letter meets requirements (typically reviewed 2-5 business days after submission).

    • CICS Careers approves Handshake Experience and notifies student of status OR emails student explaining why denied and requesting student to take action.
    • Student receives Handshake email with pdf attachment of Approved Handshake Experience (save email with PDF for later).

    • Student allowed to formally accept the offer after CICS approval (final CPT approval is not required to accept a job offer).

    Summer CPT Approval Steps (beginning in March when summer course registration opens)

    • Instructor of Record submits the Independent Study registration. 
      • GRAD students will receive an email from Elizabeth Parolski when this process is completed.
      • UGRAD students will receive an email from CICS Careers when this process is completed.
    • Student pays for mandatory Pass/Fail CPE course.
      • Although this one-credit course will appear on your transcript, it does not count toward your CICS requirements.
      • There is a registration fee and per credit fee associated with this Independent Study (see 'Cost').
    • Student submits CPT e-form: Undergraduate and Master's Non-Thesis Students or Doctoral Students 
      • Use the Option: "I will receive academic credit..."
      • Attach the "Approved Handshake Experience pdf"
      • Attach job offer letter
      • Attach a screenshot of your SPIRE Enrollment page, showing you are enrolled in the UWW summer class
      • Advisor Name: Brian Krusell
      • Advisor Title: Director of Career Development
      • Advisor Email: cicscareers@cics.umass.edu
      • Department: Computer Science
      • Advisor Phone: 413-545-8713
    • CICS Careers reviews the CPT e-form; approves, as appropriate.
    • IPO reviews the completed CPT request and submits paperwork to federal government to generate I-20 (typically reviewed 7-10 business days after receipt). Important: Student cannot begin working until CPT is approved (start date may need to change if approval pending).
    • Student picks up the CPT I-20 at the IPO.
    • Student can apply for Social Security Number (SSN).
    • Student provides employer with new I-20, valid passport, and evidence of F-1 immigration status (F-1 visa or USCIS F-1 approval notice, and I-94 record) to satisfy Federal employment authorization requirements.


    After Summer Internship (August)

    • Student completes survey reflecting on their summer internship experience.
    • Instructor of Record contacts supervisor to verify completion of internship experience (only for M.S. Concentration in Field Experience). 
    • Instructor of Record documents Pass/Fail grade.


    If you have questions, please email cicscareers@cics.umass.edu or schedule an appointment with a career advisor on Handshake