Curricular Practical Training

CPT is defined as alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school which must be "an integral part of an established curriculum" (8 CFR 241.2(f)(10)).  This means that the opportunity must be required by the academic program, or that the student must receive academic credit for the training.

Students must obtain authorization by the international student advisor and academic advisor in order to participate in CPT.

  • Must be in status at the time of the application and have been in lawful F-1 status for one full academic year (nine months) preceding the CPT application.
    • Please note: Students in graduate degree programs that require immediate practicum hours are exempted from the one full academic year requirement. Transfer students may use the time spent in lawful F-1 status in the previous school to fulfill this requirement.
  • Must be enrolled for a full course load or approved for reduced course work before applying for CPT.
  • Must have a valid CPT employment/internship/training offer related to  the student’s major area of study.
  • Must be in good academic standing (3.0 or higher for Graduate Students and 2.0 or higher for Undergraduates).

At least 3 weeks before your anticipated start date of the CPT, prepare the following documents together:

  1. Complete the CPT I-20 Request Form [PDF].
  2. A valid letter from the prospective employer/internship site stating terms of CPT (must follow sample letter on application).
  3. Department Approval (Have your department or faculty advisor fill out and sign section 4 on the CPT application).
  4. A purpose statement describing how your CPT will relate and be integral to your academic program.
  5. A copy of your class schedule showing full-time enrollment or reduced course load courses. Your schedule must show the CPT-approved course listed in the Department Approval section.
  6. If you already advanced to candidacy, a copy of the Advancement to Candidacy Worksheet.
  7. Submit all of the above using the Online Request Form.

Please note: Regardless of the date you indicate in your CPT request form, your CPT will commence only upon approval by the International Student Advisor.

Please allow 15 business days for your application to be processed and for the issuance of a new I-20. The time needed to apply for a social security number is not included in the three weeks ISS requires to process your CPT application.

***Do not engage in any work activity without prior authorization***

  • You may begin Curricular Practical Training only after receiving approval on Form I-20 from the International Student Advisor.
  • You may not change your CPT employer/internship without prior authorization.
  • You may work up to 20 hrs. per week (part-time) during the Fall and Spring semesters and 21+ hrs. per week (full-time) during the Summer and Winter Sessions.
  • Students who have received 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training are ineligible for post-completion optional practical training (OPT).
  • Any type of work activity, even when required for a class must be approved through the CPT application process.