Thu. May 23rd, 2024

If you’re looking for international education along with a career opportunity in America, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) would be a valuable option for you. There are many Day 1 CPT universities that allow students to begin CPT authorization as early as their first semester.

Sometimes, figuring out which university will be the right choice for your bright career can become quite hectic. Hence, this guide will help you navigate the selection process and choose a Day 1 CPT university that aligns with your academic and professional goals.

What is Day 1 CPT?

Before diving into specifics, you should have a clear understanding of Day 1 CPT. CPT is a form of temporary employment authorization available to F-1 visa holders enrolled in a full-time degree program. It allows students to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study.

Day 1 CPT specifically refers to universities that permit students to apply for CPT authorization from the very beginning of their first semester. However, there are some important aspects you should know, such as;

  • Your approval is not guaranteed. It’s up to the Designated School Official (DSO) at your chosen university to give you the final CPT authorization.
  • In order to submit your CPT application, you’ll need a secured job offer relevant to your studies.
  • You must maintain good academic standing. A good GPA is crucial throughout your CPT authorization period.

How to Choose the Right Day 1 CPT University

Now that you have a clear understanding of Day 1 CPT let’s explore the factors to consider when selecting a university:

1. Accreditation and Reputation

This is paramount. While you’re applying for the Day 1 CPT, make sure the university is accredited by a legitimate accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Accreditation signifies that the university meets established educational standards. Moreover, you should also research the university’s reputation for academics, faculty expertise, and student support services.

2. Day 1 CPT Eligibility by Program

Not all the Day 1 CPT university programs offer the same option, even though the university offers it in other programs. Hence, you need to contact the university’s international student office or DSO to verify if your specific program qualifies for Day 1 CPT authorization.

3. Program Curriculum and Career Relevance

It’s also important to choose a program that aligns with your career aspirations. Day 1 CPT hinges on the job offer being directly related to your field of study. Hence, you should evaluate the program’s curriculum to ensure it provides all the necessary skills and knowledge you need for future employment.

4. Job Placement Assistance

Many Day 1 CPT universities offer career services specifically to international students. So all you need to do is__ find out the universities where you’ll get dedicated staff to assist you in the following things;

  • Crafting resumes,
  • Interview preparation, and
  • Connecting you with potential employers who understand the CPT process.

Remember, this small help from the universities can get much better career opportunities!

5. Cost and Financial Aid

Studying abroad can be expensive. Day 1 CPT universities vary in tuition fees and living expenses. In this sense, you should research the university’s tuition fees, living expenses, and financial aid options available to international students. However, if you’re eligible, it will be the best idea to consider scholarships, grants, and assistantships to help offset costs.

6. Location and Campus Life

Location is definitely one of the major concerns an international student should consider while applying for Day 1 CPT in the US. Consider your preferred location, campus size, and student life offerings according to your comfortability in both living and employment.

Also, ask yourself_ do you need an urban environment or a quieter college town? Besides, don’t forget to research the university’s housing options, extracurricular activities, and support networks for international students.

7. H-1B Sponsorship History (Optional)

Although it’s not a direct indicator of CPT approval, some students might be interested in exploring the university’s track record of sponsoring international students for H-1B visas after graduation. This can help you understand the university’s support for international students seeking career opportunities in the US.

Some Benefits of Day 1 CPT:

  • Gain valuable hands-on experience that complements your academic studies.
  • Build a resume with relevant work experience, making you more competitive upon graduation.
  • A strong CPT experience can demonstrate your skills and value to a potential employer, increasing your chances of H-1B visa sponsorship after graduation.
  • CPT allows you to earn income while studying, which can help offset living expenses and tuition fees.
  • CPT placements can lead to valuable mentorships, job recommendations, and a stronger professional network that can benefit you throughout your career.

Additional Considerations

Student Reviews and Rankings: Read student reviews and explore university rankings to gain insights into student experiences and academic quality.

Support for International Students: Look for universities with dedicated resources and services to support international students, including cultural adjustment assistance, immigration advising, and English language support programs.

Remember: Day 1 CPT is a valuable option but is just one aspect of your educational journey. Besides, you need to carefully see if the university fosters your academic and professional growth, provides a supportive environment, and aligns with your long-term career goals.

What’s next to do?

Once you’ve identified your ideal Day 1 CPT universities, contact their international student offices or DSOs first. Then, ask specific questions about their programs, application process, and job placement support. This personalized approach will provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

We hope this detail has helped you understand how to choose a Day 1 CTP University in the US. For more information, you can read more articles about Day 1 CPT or watch some YouTube videos.


What are the best Day 1 CPT Universities?

There are many good Day 1 CPT Universities out there. Here are the top five: Westcliff University, Trine University, Monroe College, Saint Peter’s University, and Harrisburg University.

How long can you stay on Day 1 CPT?

The duration of Day 1 CPT depends on your program length. It can last anywhere from 12 to 36 months but always check with your university for specifics.

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