Graduate/ PHD programs at HU are designed for working professionals focused on career advancements who can apply what is learned back to their workplace. To integrate professional work experience into all phases of the Graduate degree programs, all students must submit an Academic Work Placement Form or the Waiver of Academic Work Placement Form. Students on F1 Status need work authorization on their I-20 for employment in the United States. 


F-1 students are only permitted to work in the United States for the company listed during the dates provided on their I-20. Students who are applying for a new CPT work authorization or an extension of their current CPT work authorization cannot begin working until it has been authorized on their I-20.  Even if the work placement has been approved by Records and Registration, F-1 students cannot begin working until they have received their I-20 with CPT authorization on page 2. 


Students will need to submit a CPT work authorization request. When you are ready to submit your request, please login to the Terra Dotta System and navigate to the Request Center to find the CPT request. We recommend that students access Terra Dotta through a desktop/laptop device, as mobile compatibility is limited.

Students must complete the questionnaire as well as upload their Academic Work Placement form and job offer letter. Please refer to the How to Submit a CPT Work Authorization Request article for more details. 


Any changes to CPT employment details will require a new CPT request in the Terra Dotta System. Please note that you must receive an updated I-20 reflecting your changes in employment prior to these changes taking effect. 


Dates for CPT Authorization and CPT Extensions

CPT work authorization may only be granted for up to 364 days at a time. The CPT start and end dates must be within the program dates on the I-20 and cannot go beyond the program end date. 


If CPT work authorization is needed to be extended after the dates authorized on their I-20, they will need to submit a new CPT request in Terra Dotta. They do not need a new Academic Work Placement form if it is for the position already approved by the Records and Registration office. Students must be registered for classes during the CPT start date of the CPT work authorization extension. 


If a student ends their employment earlier than their CPT work authorization on their I-20 they will need to update the ISO as well as submit a Waiver of Academic Work Placement form to the Records and Registration office. 


Semester Breaks/ Medical RCLs

Students must be continuously enrolled in a Full Time Course Load to be eligible to maintain their CPT work authorization. Students on an approved Semester break or a Medical Reduced Course Load are not eligible for CPT.  Students are able to continue to work on their CPT authorization between semesters as long as they are enrolled in the next semester’s classes. 


Part Time or Full Time/ OPT Eligibility

Students will need to select if their work placement is Full Time or Part Time. Full time is defined as 21 hours or more per week and Part Time is defined as 20 hours or less per week. More than one CPT work authorization may be authorized on the I-20 at a time if a student has more than one employer. HU expects academics to be prioritized.  

In the event students are switching from Full Time to Part Time or Part Time to Full Time, a new Academic Work Placement Form must be submitted to the Records and Registration office before submitting the change to the ISO through Terra Dotta. 


Students seeking post completion OPT upon graduating may not have more than 364 days of CPT authorization at their current degree level to be eligible to apply for OPT.   Part-time CPT does not impact OPT eligibility for a student. 


For information regarding the Academic Work Placement or Waiver of Academic Work Placement forms please review the following article: Academic Work Placement : Harrisburg University Records & Registration