Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
is permission to work part-time or full-time (if
mandatory) in a training position related to your field of study while
you pursue your degree. The training must be an integral part of
the established curriculum required for your degree. The
following examples illustrate types of CPT that can be authorized:
Employment related to a required internship.
Work necessary to fulfill the requirements of
a course with a practicum component.
Research work necessary to complete a thesis
CPT employment of 20 or
fewer hours per week is considered part-time and requires concurrent
full-time course work. CPT employment of more than 20 hours per week
is considered full-time and can only be considered if it is mandatory
by the degree program that you are pursuing.
Please note: Students who are authorized for one year or more
of full-time CPT are ineligible for Optional Practical Training
(OPT). Part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
Plan ahead. CPT must be authorized on your I-20 by a
Designated School Official (DSO) at the Office of International Programs
and Services. You may not begin working until you have received
your work authorization on your SEVIS
I-20. (Even if the practicum/internship is required
for the degree, you must get the authorization on your I-20 first to
avoid being considered in violation of your F-1 status by USCIS.)
To be eligible for
Curricular Practical Training, you must:
Have been a full-time student for at least one
academic year (9 months).
Have a valid, un-expired passport, I-94 card,
Be currently enrolled full-time unless it is a semester
break (Summer session).
Be registered for a course that has a
practicum component, that counts for academic credit
(usually 3 credits), and that is listed in the Schedule
of Classes, or
Be ready to pursue an internship that has been
approved by the academic department as an integral part
of your program of study (as documented by written
program or syllabus description).
To Apply for CPT:
Obtain the F-1 Curricular Practical Training
Packet from International Programs and Services.
Read all of the information in the packet
With your academic advisor’s help, fill out
the Academic Advisor’s Recommendation for CPT Form.
Attach a copy of the written
internship/practicum description from your school
bulletin or course syllabus.
Return the packet to International Programs
and Services. Bring with you the following:
Copies of your passport, visa and I-94 card
Academic Advisor’s Recommendation for CPT
Original job offer letter
Copy of internship/practicum description from
school bulletin or course syllabus
Proof of registration for relevant course
credit (where applicable)
Form I-538 completed (the top)
Valid proof of medical insurance
The DSO will evaluate the above forms and
documents, and make an appropriate decision. If you are
approved the DSO will update your record in SEVIS as
being authorized for curricular practical training. The
DSO will then print a copy of your SEVIS Form I-20
indicating that curricular practical training has been
approved. The DSO must sign, date, and return the SEVIS
Form I-20 to you prior to the commencement of your
employment. You are eligible to start CPT only
after receiving the endorsed I-20 from the DSO.
You are eligible to work under CPT only for the
employer and location specified, and only for the
Click here to