Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is the mechanism which allows an F-1 student to complete off-campus practical training experience which is integral to successful completion of a course, required for the program of study. 

Eligibility

A F-1 student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year in their program of study before being eligible for CPT.

An exception exists for graduate students, if a graduate program requires immediate participation in an internship, a practicum, or other employment. 

Unfortunately, students in English Language programs are not eligible for CPT.

What courses require CPT?

A mandatory internship course, or an elective internship course that counts toward program major requirements.

CPT is available only while the student is in valid F-1 status and before the completion of a global scholar's program.

A student should first consult with their department academic advisor.

Documents needed to apply for CPT

Approval from a Designated School Official (DSO) in the Global Education Office, must be received prior to a F-1 student's participation in off-campus practical training. Authorization will be considered only after the student has submitted:

  • A properly completed and signed CPT request form;
  • Copy of job offer letter or cooperative agreement;
  • Enrollment can be verified in the course requiring practical training.

Authorization and restrictions

If you are eligible and have the documentation required for CPT, a DSO will authorize CPT by issuing a new I-20 detailing the employment.

You may engage in CPT employment only after you have received the I-20 with your CPT authorization.  

This work authorization is valid only for the specific employer, location, time period and on a part-time or full-time basis as approved and recorded by a DSO as evidenced on your I-20 issued for CPT.

You may not continue employment beyond the date authorized. To begin work, prior or work past the dates of CPT approval, would be a violation of your nonimmigrant F-1 student status. Do not jeopardize your student status and make sure you receive proper authorization to engage in off-campus work.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

Part-time

  • During the school year while classes are in session for fall and spring, students can engage in CPT on a part-time basis, limited to no more than 20 hours per week.

  • If you also work on-campus, you are advised to engage in only CPT for the respective time frame as to not exceed the 20-hour per week limit and endanger your F-1 status.

  • If required for your program of study, there are no limitations on the number of times you may  be authorized to participate in part-time curricular practical training, but you must be maintaining lawful F-1 status and gain approval each semester of engagement.

Full-time

  • A student can engage in full-time CPT during official university breaks and vacation such as winter and summer break. 
  • Full-time CPT allows the student to work more than 20 hours per week.  

  • Please Note:  If you participate in 50 weeks or more of FULL-TIME curricular practical training, you will not be eligible for post-completion optional practical training (OPT).