Curricular Practical Training

Pursue employment authorization for “an integral part of an established curriculum [that] must be directly related to the international student’s major area of study.”

Curricular Practical Training  may be defined as alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education (Co-Op) or other type of internship or practicum (required or optional, paid or unpaid).

To be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you must:

  • Have completed at least one academic year of full-time enrollment (for both a fall and a spring semester) in your current degree program. The summer session does not count toward one academic year.
  • Be a degree-seeking F-1 student.
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Enroll in and complete the academic department’s designated internship course for which CPT employment authorization is granted during the term the internship is served. Example: graduate professional practice for technology students or engineering internship for engineering students
  • Be continually enrolled in adequate medical and auto insurance (if you have a driver’s license)
  • If your degree program requires an internship before you have met the academic year requirement, please see an immigration advisor in LAWS 105/106.

Provide a copy of the following documents with your CPT application:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Curricular Practical Training application form completed by the academic advisor, graduate coordinator, department head, dean or co-op coordinator (for undergraduate students in the co-op program)
  3. A job offer from your prospective employer on company letterhead (including company’s full name and address) with the body of the letter indicating:
    • The EXACT number of work hours per week
    • part time (up to 20 hours per week)
    • full time (more than 20 hours per week)
    • the location (street address) where you will complete the work, telephone and email, if different from the company’s headquarters
    • the beginning and ending dates of employment
    • the title of your position and the job description for your CPT experience; the description should state how your duties will supplement knowledge you have gained or will gain in courses so that your academic department can approve this as an academically appropriate experience for you to accept.
  4. A statement of explanation showing how your program of study requires the internship to complete degree requirements (such as providing the degree requirements from the academic catalog) or how it is an integral part of the academic program. Provide this explanation with the other documents in order for it to be reviewed by your academic department.
  5. Graduate students: Copy of your plan of study (preliminary or approved) showing the courses required to obtain your degree
  6. CPT Application can be picked up in Office of Immigration Services, LAWS 227 or e-mailed upon request.

While you are completing authorized CPT, you must maintain your lawful status each semester. This includes:

  • Reporting address or telephone number changes to ISS within 10 days
  • Enrolling in a minimum of one credit hour in the academic department’s designated internship course for which CPT employment authorization is granted (Your department may require enrollment in more than one hour.)
    • Part-time CPT: A full course of study is required. At least one credit hour of the total course load is for the CPT course. Register for the CPT credit before beginning CPT
    • Full time CPT: Enrolling in no more than three credit hours coursework along with one credit hour for the CPT course that will be listed on the student transcript
    • Be continually enrolled in adequate medical and auto insurance (if you have a driver’s license)

ISS authorizes CPT after verification that a student meets the eligibility requirements for CPT, has an appropriate job offer and has enrolled in a class requiring employment. ISS gives the authorization on the second page of the I-20; no Employment Authorization Document from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is required.

CPT is approved for a specific employer, location of employment and time period. You must request approval for any of the following changes two weeks before extending your current CPT end date: working at a different location or for a new employer. Completing new forms and obtaining new authorization is necessary.

Please note that F-1 students with 365 days (12 months) or more full-time CPT are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

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