Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is CPT?
CPT is a program that allows international graduate students to receive practical training and work experience with U.S. companies while they study for a Master’s degree. Graduates from the CPT program are much more employable due to their increased classroom knowledge and professional training.
2. Do I need a special visa such as H-1B?
No, CPT is offered with your F-1 visa; you will apply for a regular F-1 student visa.
3. How can I work with an F-1 visa? Do I need a special work permit?
The school will authorize your CPT employment with an approved employer.
4. How many hours can I work?
You can work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week).
5. When can I start working? How long can I work?
You will be eligible for employment during the first month of the program. You will have to complete the WS-01 employment workshop before starting your job. You can work for as long as you are enrolled in the master’s program. However, if you work full-time for more than 12 months in CPT, you may be ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation.
6. Can I work off-campus?
Yes, all students work off-campus with employers in the Salt Lake City area.
7. How can I work full-time and go to school?
All classes are offered in an executive format. Classes are held in the evenings and students can study in the evening and work during the day.
8. Is the job guaranteed? Will the college assist me with finding a job?
No one can guarantee you a job. However, CPT employment is required as part of the graduate school curriculum. The college has an excellent career services job placement program that will help you locate a suitable position when you first arrive. Our goal is to have you employed and working within 30 days of enrolling in the program.
9. What about the economy? Are there jobs available?
Salt Lake City has one of the strongest economies in the U.S. The Utah unemployment rate is one of the lowest national U.S. averages. There are many jobs available and all of our students have been successful in finding employment.
10. What kind of job will I have?
Job placement depends on your previous education, work experience, and English proficiency. Most students obtain entry-level positions related to their field of study. Students who have previous work experience, a specialized degree, and certain industry licensure can find higher level positions. CPT students have been placed at global companies such as American Express, Delta Airlines, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Discover, Watson Laboratories, Convergys, 3M, Harman Music Group, Citigroup, and Marriott Hotels.
11. Do I need to have previous work experience?
No, previous work experience is not required, however; it may increase your chances of being hired.
12. How much money can I earn?
Typically, you will be working in entry level positions and earning $10.00 to $15.00 USD per hour. Students with technical or specialty backgrounds with several years of experience can earn more.
13. Will I have to pay taxes?
You will have to pay some taxes. The college recommends you obtain advice from your employer’s human resource department or a tax professional. Students in the CPT program are exempt from some state and federal taxes.
14. Will I earn enough to pay my tuition?
Your first priority is to study. CPT is meant to enhance your education, but not pay for it. You should expect to use personal financial resources to cover all of your expenses.
15. So how much money do I need each month?
Typical monthly expenses include tuition, books, housing (rent), transportation, entertainment and other general living expenses. You should budget approximately $2600 to $2800 per month.