Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students


Definition of CPT

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may be authorized under certain circumstances to allow F-1 students temporary off-campus employment.  This employment must be related to the student’s program of study or an integral or important part of the program of study.  Training which is required by the degree program always meets the requirements for CPT and must be for academic credit.  CPT is authorized by the international student adviser upon receipt of the CPT Form being completed by the student’s program advisor.

Who is Eligible for CPT?

  • F-1 students who have completed one full academic year (both Fall and Spring) of full time study immediately prior to the semester that they request CPT work authorization.  This requirement is waived for graduate students in a program that requires immediate internship participation.
  • CPT occurs during the course of the student’s program of study.

Part-Time VS. Full-Time CPT

  • Part-time CPT is 20 hours a week or less, while full-time CPT is more than 20 hours a week.
  • Full-time CPT can be authorized in three situations; during summer semester for students registered in spring and continuing in fall; pursuant to registration in a formal internship class, or if you are in a graduate program that requires internship participation to graduate.  Otherwise, you will be limited to 20 hours a week of work authorization, including any on campus employment.
  • If you participate in twelve months or more of full-time CPT, you begin to lose the full twelve month option of optional practical training (OPT) after you complete your studies.  Participation in part-time CPT does not affect your eligibility for post-completion OPT.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • CPT cannot be backdated.  CPT work dates should be in the future.
  • CPT requires course registration.  Specific course registration information is required when filling out the CPT Form.
  • You cannot start CPT without 1)having the updated I-20 with the CPT dates in hand, and 2)the start date for CPT beginning on your first day of participation.
  • CPT is only granted per semester.
  • You must report changes of employer and changes in employment dates to the International Student adviser.

Applying for CPT:

  1. Talk to your program adviser and explain what you will have to do in order to participate in the internship setting (give them a head’s up).
  2. Register for appropriate course that your CPT will coincide with.
  3. Have both the student and the program advisor complete the CPT Form.

Once the form is complete and submitted please allow the international student adviser one week to process your request.