Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is training (internships, practicums, etc.) expected of all students who are completing a specific program of study. Because it is part of the educational program, the U.S. government allows F-1 students to participate even though that status does not normally permit off-campus employment. While participating in CPT, you must continue to enroll in a full course of study and otherwise maintain your status.
- You must have an offer of employment to apply for CPT because the authorization is employer specific. You may not change your employer without obtaining a new CPT authorization.
- The number of hours you are allowed to work while on CPT is determined by your educational program requirements.
- Part-time CPT authorization is 20 hours per week or less. Full-time CPT is over 20 hours.
- You may use as much CPT authorization as is required for your degree program. However, if you accumulate 12 months or more of full-time CPT authorization, you are no longer eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization. Part-time CPT does not affect OPT in any way.
- Curricular Practical Training authorization on Page 2 of your form I-20 is sufficient for you to accept employment.
- CPT is authorized for specific dates of employment. You may not begin working before the start date or continue working after the end date.
Curricular Practical Training Eligibility:
- You must be in F-1 status at the time you apply and must have been a full-time student for one academic year preceding the CPT application. Graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in internship/practical training may apply at any time.
- The work must be necessary to fulfill course/class requirements and must be required of all students taking the course.
- The course must be an integral part of the established curriculum, (i.e., required for the degree program, a necessary component of the degree plan, earning credit for the degree program).
Students interested in obtaining authorization for CPT should:
- Register for a course in your program of study that has an internship component.
- Talk with your instructor about the kind of placement that will fulfill the requirements of the course.
- Request from the prospective supervisor a letter describing the work/training that you will do. The letter from the supervisor should be on official letterhead, signed by your supervisor, and must include the following:
- A description of the work/training to be performed
- The start and end dates of training
- Your salary, if any
- The address of where the training will occur
- Take the letter to your academic advisor, along with the CPT Form and obtain your advisor’s signature.
- Bring the following to the Office of International Student Services to apply for CPT:
- passport and visa
- Form I-94
- Form I-20
- CPT Form
- Letter from your supervisor as described above
- Obtain a new Form I-20 showing the CPT authorization to show to your supervisor