Curricular Practical Training
What is CPT?
Curricular Practical Training is employment that is an integral or important part of your curriculum. This may be an internship, an independent study, a thesis, or required practicum. You must receive academic credit for the work experience during the same semester that you are applying for CPT. Permission is granted by the International Student Advisor (ISA) and then reported to the DHS in the SEVIS system.
Things to Remember about the CPT training
- If a student uses all 12 months of CPT, he/she will not be permitted to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- It is possible to work full-time if you are not registered as a full-time student. This should occur only in summer semester or near the end of your program of study.
- Curricular Practical Training is not designed for permanent or long-term work opportunities.
- The work period should be as close to the beginning and ending dates of the semester as possible.
- An incomplete does NOT allow you to continue to work or to work between semesters.
- To be eligible to apply, the student must been in lawful status as a full time student for at least one academic year, unless the student’s graduate program requires and immediate CPT experience.
- The training must be directly related to the student’s field of study and commensurate with the student’s educational level.
- The training must be a requirement of the program of study and/or receive course credit.
- The training may be full-time or part-time. If full-time (more than 20 hours per week) for 12 months or more, the student becomes ineligible for optional practical training. There is no limit on part time curricular practical training.
- CPT requires a written job offer indicating job title, dates of employment, number of hours, and location of employment.
- The DSO authorizes CPT in SEVIS. The approval is specific to a specific position, employer, and location. NO USCIS approval is required. (The DSO approval appears on page 3 of the Form I-20)
- CPT terminates when the student completes the program or fails to comply with F-1 Regulations.
How to apply
- CPT Request Form, completed and signed
- Academic/Faculty Advisor Recommendation Form for CPT, completed and signed
- A copy of the job offer letter from the employer. The letter must:
- Be prepared on the company's letterhead
- Have a statement of the job offer
- Must contain your name
- Specify the employment address (street, city, state, and zip code)
- Specify the number of hours to be worked (or state full- or part-time)
- Specify the dates of CPT employment (keep in mind that CPT can only be authorized one term at a time)
- A legible copy of your current I-20
- A legible copy of your most recent I-94 card (both sides)
Make an appointment with the International office after having completed the CPT request forms.