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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined by U.S. Federal Regulation as an “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” The practical training employment must be an integral part of a student’s established curriculum or academic program and be counted towards the completion of a degree.

General Information

Curricular Practical Training can only be approved for the length of an academic period (such as from 9 January 2013-6 May 2013 or from 9 May 2013-28 July 2013). Curricular Practical Training may be renewed if the student enrolls for additional internship credit.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time CPT

Part-time CPT: Students may enroll for part-time employment through internship credit also. There is no limit on part-time curricular internship employment (paid employment of less than 20 hours per week), but the student must be enrolled in 1-3 hours of internship credit as part of a full-time course load in order to maintain lawful F-1 status. Students must get approval for the credit hours from their respective academic departments and the International Center.

Full-time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time. Please be aware that you will not be eligible for optional practical training after graduation if you enroll in twelve months of full-time curricular practical training before graduation. Therefore, it is important that you use no more than eleven months of full-time curricular practical training before graduation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (i.e. two full consecutive terms). If you are a graduate student and the program requires immediate participation, this requirement is waived.
  • You must be in lawful F-1 status.
  • You must have a job offer.
  • You must have approval from your academic department.
  • You must be enrolled in internship credit hours.

How to Apply for CPT

  1. Meet with an International Student and Scholar Services staff member to determine the number of credit hours required for the internship based on the amount of full-time or part-time internship hours.
  2. Bring proof of your enrollment in the internship credit hours to the International Center along with your employment letter, passport and I-94 card. * Incomplete requests will not be accepted.
  3. Fill out the Curricular Practical Training form which will allow the International Center to enter the authorization in SEVIS.
  4. The International Center staff will prepare a new I-20 authorizing the Curricular Practical Training on the third page of the I-20 and will indicate the exact dates of employment with the specific employer. The employer will need to see the I-20 in order to show proof of work authorization.
  5. You will be notified by email when the new document is ready to be signed in the International Center.