Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” Federal regulations define it as “alternate work/study, internship, co-operative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” See 8 CFR§ Sec. 214.2(f)(10)(i)
No matter if the work is voluntary or paid, the student must BE APPROVED for CPT before they begin working.
A student is eligible for CPT if:
- He or she is in valid F-1 status at the time of application and has been in full-time status on the same SEVIS record for one academic year preceding the CPT application.
- The student abides by all rules surrounding full-time course registration while on CPT. Full-time CPT authorization is comparable to a full course of study if it is required by their program.
- The student has not completed all of the coursework and requirements for their program.
- The CPT experience is either:
- Satisfying a program requirement placed on all students, or
- Optional, meaning the student will register for coursework in their program of study in the concurrent term to represent the CPT experience (example: an internship or independent study credit).
- ISSS must approve CPT and/or add new employment before student can begin employment/internship. Page 2 of the new I-20 must accurately reflect the student's employment information.
- CPT can only be authorized for one academic semester at a time.
- A student with 12 months or more of full-time CPT is not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- Graduate students whose degree requires immediate participation in CPT may apply after arriving in the U.S. and registering with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). They do not need to be in status for one academic year.
- Students cannot participate in CPT after they complete all coursework and requirements for their program.
- Meet with an international student advisor during walk-in advisement hours to discuss your interest in CPT.
- If your advisor determines that you qualify, click Begin New CPT Request and complete the form.
- Follow the instructions on the form. You will be asked to provide your academic advisor’s name and email. After you submit the form, your academic advisor will review your request and approve it, if appropriate.
- You will be notified via email when your advisor has completed the form.
- Email a copy of your official offer letter to firstname.lastname@example.org in a PDF attachment after your request is approved. The letter must be on company letterhead and include the address where you will be working, the number of hours to be worked per week, the start and end dates, and a brief description of your duties. Letters without all of the above information will not be accepted.
- You will receive an email when your new I-20 with CPT authorization is ready for pickup at the reception desk of the Office of Global Education.