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 UMass Email Address = cicscareers@cics.umass.edu (UGRAD); eparolski@cics.umass.edu (MS, MS/PhD, PhD)

      • Faculty Sponsor Full Name = Jack Wileden (UGRAD); Arun Venkataramani (MS); Peter Haas (MS/PhD & PhD)

      • What is the internship Department and Course Number? = CICS 398T (UGRAD); CICS 598T (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.
    • Graduate Student Handshake Experiences are approved by the MS advisor. Students are NOT emailed by the MS advisor upon approval.
  • Student will save the PDF of the APPROVED Handshake contract. Be sure to save the WHOLE contract, do not just screenshot the top of the experience. You can save the whole approved contract by using the PRINT, SAVE AS PDF function on your computer. 

  • 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 UWW CPT course.  Summer rates for the CPT course can be found here.
    • 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 (do not include special characters in file name)
    • Attach a screenshot of your SPIRE Enrollment page, showing you are enrolled in the UWW summer class
    • Fill in the following to complete the CPT e-form:
      • Advisor Name: Brian Krusell (UGRAD); Elizabeth Parolski (MS, MS/PhD, PhD)
      • Advisor Title: Director of Career Development (UGRAD); Academic Advisor (MS, MS/PhD, PhD)
      • Advisor Email: cicscareers@cics.umass.edu (UGRAD); eparolski@cics.umass.edu (MS, MS/PhD, PhD)
      • Department: Computer Science (UGRAD, MS, MS/PhD, PhD)
      • Advisor Phone: 413-545-8713 (UGRAD); 413-545-4822 (MS, MS/PhD, PhD)
  • CICS Careers / CICS Advising 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