16 Apr Guide to Day 1 CPT Phd Universities in USA 
International students who would like to supplement the academic learning they gain at PhD programs with practical experience seek Day 1 CPT PhD programs. This blog walks you through the rules surrounding Day 1 CPT and lists the Day 1 CPT PhD universities. If you are looking for Day 1 CPT Masters programs you can read this blog instead.
International students on F1 visa are eligible for 12 months of OPT and 24 months of STEM extension for each degree level. So you will be eligible for a second OPT and STEM OPT at your PhD level. Besides OPT, you can also engage in CPT while pursuing the PhD program. In general, international students must be enrolled as a full-time F1 student for 12 months before they can utilize CPT. But USCIS allows CPT earlier for graduate programs if practicum is part of the PhD curriculum. You may not face issues with H1B approval and F1 to H1B change of status if you utilize Day 1 CPT at PhD level.
The number of Universities that offer Day 1 CPT PhD programs is limited. And even for the universities that do offer Day 1 CPT PhD programs, the student intake is limited to only a few students per semester. It is because of the fact that doing research as part of the PhD requires you to dedicate more of your time to the coursework, and being involved in CPT training along with the academics can be hectic for most students. So, only exceptional students who have great commitment and skills to pursue the PhD program integrated with the CPT will be selected for admission. For some universities, it is mandatory to complete the CPT training to graduate in the particular coursework, whereas some universities provide the option of CPT for those outstanding students who want to fund their studies with some extra income.
The Practical training as part of the CPT program can be attained part-time or full-time. The part-time CPT allows you to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week, and the full-time CPT stipulates a period of 40 hours per week of work at most. Choosing a full-time CPT is not much recommended because the academic learning and the research work will have to be pursued along with the work via online mode or weekend learning.
Phd programs are intensive with a lot of coursework and research. Your doctoral advisor will help you choose the research topic and guide you. To complete the PhD program you need to attend classes, take exams, write research papers and dissertations. CPT should be directly related to the PhD coursework and area of study. You should also have an employment offer and prior approval from DSO before you can start the CPT.
Here are some Day 1 CPT PhD Universities in USA
- Westcliff University Irvine, California
- Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Kentucky
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