Curricular Practical Training

Internships, practica and other for-credit practical experiences for F-1 status students



Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment authorization for F-1 status students for employment that is “an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular Practical Training is defined to be 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” (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(10)(i)).

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • You have been in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year.
  • You are currently enrolled.
  • Your proposed employment is related to major field of study.
  • Proposed employment can be paid or unpaid.
  • Your proposed employment is for course credit OR it is a requirement of all students in your program.
  • You must have an offer of employment in order to receive authorization.

Types of Authorization

  • Part Time: Employment will be for a maximum of 20 hours/week
  • Full Time: Employment will be for more than 20 hours/week. Full time CPT is limited to:
    • Summer internships
    • Internships that are part of certain off-campus studies programs

Effect on Other Employment

12 months or more of full time CPT authorization makes students ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Application Process

Start this process early to make sure that you have enough time to get everything done!

  1. Talk with your academic advisor, your potential internship sponsor, Career Works and the International Student Advisor to determine the following about the position(s) you are considering:
    1. Does the position qualify for internship credit?
    2. Does the position qualify for CPT authorization?
  2. Register for the appropriate internship credit.
  3. Complete online CPT Authorization Request Form.
  4. Obtain an offer letter from your employer. The letter must be on your employer’s letterhead and contain the following information:
    1. Position Title
    2. Start date and end date
    3. Description of job duties
    4. Location of employment (address, city, state, postal code)
    5. Supervisor’s name and contact information
  5. Schedule an appointment with the International Student Advisor to review the required documents and begin processing the authorization. The Google Form will go directly to the International Student Advisor. Please bring the following documents to your appointment:
    1. Employment offer letter
    2. Evidence of registration for your internship credit
    3. Passport, Visa, I-20

Please submit your application for CPT authorization at least 2 weeks before your requested start date for review and processing. The authorization for your CPT must be made on your I-20 before you begin working.

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