Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Semester Time CPT- Fall 2021


This information is for Fall 2021 ONLY.  Summer 2021 information can be found here

REQUIREMENTS: (REad all requirements before applying for CPT)

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

    • Offer must cover specific details, see more below.

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

  • CPT during the semester must be part-time, less than 20 hours a week, and remote (for Winter 2020-2021 and Spring 2021)

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

  • CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program or appear to delay completion of your program

    • MS students- If you are entering into your last semester and you have already earned over 30 credits, you cannot do CPT during the semester nor the summer.

  • MS students must be enrolled as full-time students, during the semester. Courses must demand your in-person presence (expect Spring 2021) 

    • Winter Break CPT does not require enrollment in courses, other than the needed CPT course. 

    • Only exception is students in their final semester. If in your final semester, students must be enrolled in one course that meets in person (virtual class is okay for Spring 2021).

See important additional CPT details and requirements on the International Programs Office (IPO) website.   PHD STUDENTS CLICK HERE


  • Completed two full semesters in F-1 immigration status, which means two semesters physically in the US
    • 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

    • Student verifies that job offer includes all necessary information (follow up with their employer, as needed)
      • Must be on company letterhead- with the complete mailing address
      • Must contain ALL of the following information:
        • Job title
        • Brief description of job duties
          • must be related to CS and your course of study
          • must be specific
        • Part-time or full-time AND hours working per week
        • Job location (address where you will actually work)
          • If you are working remotely the letter must clearly state this
        • Exact employment start and end date (must fall within the semester or winter break
        • Salary and other related compensation
    • Student initiates Experience request on Handshake.

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

      • Complete 37 question survey including:

        • Experience Type = International Graduate Students... (GRAD)

        • Approver email and name:  eparolski@umass.edu Elizabeth Parolski

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

        • Faculty Sponsor UMass Email Address =  MCorner@umass.edu (MS); amcgrego+@umass.edu (MS/PhD, PhD)

        • What is the internship Department and Course Number? = 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 the signed Field Experience Risk Acknowledge Form

      • Once both attachments are attached HIT SUBMIT! 

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

    • MS Academic Advising approves Handshake Experience and notifies student of status OR emails student explaining denial and requesting student to take action (typically reviewed 2-5 business days after submission).
    • Student receives Handshake email with PDF attachment of Approved Handshake Experience (save email with PDF for later).(typically reviewed 2-5 business days after approval).

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

    Approval Steps 

    • Student completes and submits the Spring 2021 Course Registration Form.
      • Submit to Elizabeth Parolski via eparolski@umass.edu
        • NOTE- Semester-time CPT is billed an academic, semester-time credit. Will cost approximately $550-650
        • Although this one-credit course will appear on your transcript, it does not count toward your CICS degree requirements.
        • SAVE a copy for yourself for IPO e-form
    • Student submits IPO CPT e-form. (Chose the proper form for you (MS & Ph.D. have different forms) via links under the CPT application heading)
      • Use the Option: "I will receive academic credit..."
      • Attach the "Approved Handshake Experience PDF"
      • Attach job offer letter
      • Attach signed Independent Study Registration Form
        • This is different from summer, as there is a form for semester time enrollment
      • Advisor Name: Elizabeth Parolski
      • Advisor Title: Academic Advisor
      • Advisor Email: eparolski@umass.edu
      • Department: Computer Science
      • Advisor Phone: 413-545-4822
    • MS 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 Internship

    • Student completes survey reflecting on their summer internship experience.
    • Instructor of Record and CICS Graduate programs documents Pass/Fail grade.


    Questions or concerns- email Elizabeth Parolski, MS Advisor- eparolski@umass.edu