Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (for F-1 Students)

CPT cannot be in a minor or previous major. CPT can be part-time (20 hours a week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours a week).  If you are authorized for part-time CPT, any on-campus employment and your CPT together cannot amount to over 20 hours of work a week, while school is in session (this includes assistantships and CASE Center employment). If you are authorized for full-time CPT, you should not have any additional on-campus employment, while school is in session.  CPT is designed to provide work experience directly related and integral to a student's degree of study. It is not intended for general, ongoing work authorization. Traditional volunteer work (e.g. at a soup-kitchen, homeless shelter) does not require CPT. However any internship, even if it is unpaid, requires CPT authorization.



  • Curricular Practical Training
  • CPT Eligibility
    • A student must be in valid F-1-status and have been  a full-time student for one academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) before participating in CPT.
      • An exception may be made for programs that require an internship from graduate students in their first year of study. This first year requirement must be documented in the advisor recommendation letter. Programs that allow for the internship to be completed after the first year of study would not be eligible for CPT authorization under this exception. 
    • A student must have a written job offer on company letterhead before applying for CPT. The job offer must indicate the position, the exact dates of employment, the number of hours per week and the company¿s address.
    • A student must continue to maintain full-time student status for the duration of the CPT. This means 12 credits per semester for an undergraduate student and 9 credits per semester or securing a Certificate of Full-Time Status for a graduate student.
    • A student must continue to make normal degree progress, as defined by their department and the Graduate School, while participating in CPT. This could require course-work during the CPT period. Students should verify that participation in CPT will not interfere with their ability to take courses required for degree completion that may not be taught in subsequent semesters prior to the program end date indicated on their I-20. CPT should not delay degree completion beyond the program end date listed on the Form I-20
    • Approval from the department is required for CPT.  Individual departments may have their own academic requirements for, or limitations on, participation in CPT. Examples include a minimum GPA, a pre-requisite course and/or a number of credits taken in the department's curriculum.
  • Types of CPT
    • Required for the Degree - An internship is a required part of a structured degree program; everyone in the program must do an internship or they will not be able to complete their program. In this case, a student does not need to register for credit for the CPT experience. 
    • Integral to the Curriculum - An internship is not a required part of the program's curriculum, but the internship is considered integral to the academic experience. In this case, a student must register for at least one credit per semester of CPT experience.
    • Dissertation Research - A doctoral student must engage in off-campus work to complete research necessary for a Ph.D. Dissertation. In this case, a student must register for GRD 998 and/or a department-specific dissertation credit and file a Certificate of Full Time Status.  The academic department’s recommendation letter must specifically indicate that this CPT experience is for dissertation research.
  • Duration of CPT
      • CPT is authorized by semester (Fall, Spring, Summer).  Therefore, students must submit a new CPT request, including all the necessary documents, for each semester, including summer session(s).
      • Participation in CPT may begin on or after the first day of the semester. CPT must end before the first day of the following semester. For example, CPT can be extended through the winter break, but must be complete before the first day of spring semester. Spring semester CPT must end before the first day of summer session, and so on.
      A student may participate in CPT as much as their program will allow and their academic department will authorize. However, a student will be ineligible for OPT if he/she participates in greater than 364 days of full time CPT.
  • Applying for Curricular Practical Training
      1. Attend the Curricular Practical Training Seminar.
      2. Receive a job offer related to your major area of study. Make a copy of the official offer letter and submit it with CPT application materials. 
      3. Obtain a Recommendation Letter from your department which indicates that this CPT internship experience is an integral part of your degree program. (Please include all information indicated in the sample.)
      4. Complete the Training Data Sheet & Student Responsibility Checklist. This form is fillable; please type responses directly into it. This will reduce the likelihood that your handwriting will be misunderstood. Read, check, and sign the Student Responsibilities Checklist in the appropriate section.
      5. Come to the Slutzker Center during PT2 processing times (Mondays from 3-5pm and Thursdays from 10am-12pm). Bring the above listed documents along with proof that you have registered your CPT experience for credit in the semester(s) it will occur. (e.g., registration form, MySlice registration screen), your original passport, visa, I-94 card, all of your original I-20s since entering the US, and proof of health insurance. Health insurance should include Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage; if your plan does not include this (e.g., POMCO), you may purchase a supplemental FrontierMEDEX plan for $31.20 per year. In general, students are expected to show coverage for one full academic year and renew their policy each year thereafter. A minimum of 6 months of coverage should be presented when applying for CPT.
  • Impact of I-20 Extensions
      • A student must have an extenuating academic or medical reason for an extension of program end date on his/her I-20 Form.  
      • Failure to complete required course-work or sufficient credit hours to graduate because of CPT is not a compelling academic or medical reason for an extension.
      • Immigration regulations do not allow I-20 extensions due to delay caused by participation in CPT. 

      Participation in CPT is not a valid reason for an extension of program.