Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a way that F-1 students can gain experience in their current programs of study that is not located on the UAMS campus.  Regulations state that CPT must be:

  • “an integral part of an established curriculum” and
  • “directly related to the student’s major area of study.”

Examples of CPT can be “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”

Based on the rules of CPT, students must receive credit for this type of training. Also, this must be part of the curriculum for all students studying in the specific program of study that the student is enrolled in.

CPT should be some type of training program that does not replace a full or part-time position for an employee in a company.

Types of CPT

Students can either use part-time (up to 20 hours a week) or full-time (from 20-40 hours a week) CPT when participating in this program.   However, if a student is authorized for full-time CPT, they can only use up to 12 months without it having any impact on future employment options (Optional Practical Training, for example.)  If a student participates in more than 12 months of full-time CPT, they begin forfeiting the allotted year they are allowed after completing their program of study.

Eligibility Requirements for Applying and Participating in CPT

The following requirements must be met in order for a student to apply and participate in CPT:

  • The student must have been enrolled in one full academic year of study unless the program requires some type of internship or practicum during the first year of study.
  • The student will continue to be enrolled full time while participating in CPT.
  • The training is “an integral part of an established curriculum.”
  • The training is “directly related to the student’s major area of study.”

Process for applying for CPT

  1. The student makes sure they meet eligibility requirements for applying for CPT.
  2. The student contacts the International Student Adviser to talk about participating in CPT.
  3. The student works with their adviser to fill out the Department Request for CPT for Student.
  4. The International Student Adviser reviews the form after it is submitted and if it is approved, they will create the CPT I-20.
  5. The International Student Adviser notifies the student of CPT approval and the I-20 available for pick up.
  6. The student shows the updated CPT I-20 to appropriate personnel in their CPT setting.

If you have any questions please contact Allyson Douglass regarding this process.