Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Before you are eligible to work for compensation as a part of your Curricular Practical Training, you must provide the following to the International Student Advisor:

  • Verification that you are in good academic standing, and have maintained your F-1 status for full academic year
  • A letter of employment offer from the employer, stating the dates of start and end of employment, the number of hours/week, and the nature of your job.
    • This letter needs to include the name and the address of your employer as well. 
  • Proof that academic credit will be given for your training (registration), or
  • Confirmation from your advisor that this training is an integral part of an established curriculum. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An integral part of an established curriculum and "directly related to the student's major area of study."

The regulations further define curricular practical training as "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

* Students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training
Most likely not (unless you are a transfer student). You need to be in F-1 status and enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year before becoming eligible for practical training. Only those graduate students are eligible to start CPT in their first semester if the CPT is required of all students in their academic programs.
Maybe. But you must have authorization from the international student advisor before you a paid or unpaid internship or any other form of curricular practical training. You need to get a new SEVIS I-20 issued by the international student advisor which is endorsed with curricular practical training authorization before your start working on your internship.
CPT can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less during the semester) or full-time (over 20 hours). There is no regulatory limit on either the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in either part- or full-time curricular practical training. This will be governed by the nature of the training and the requirements of the student's program. The regulations do not prohibit multiple, concurrent CPT employers.
Students who complete 12 or more months of full-time curricular practical training (CPT) will be ineligible for OPT. Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for Optional   Practical Training. To continue to be eligible for OPT you will want to make sure to do 364 days or less of full-time CPT.
Depends on the specific period granted by the international student advisor. It may be granted by the international student advisor in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. No cumulative maximum, except that it can only be approved before completion of the academic objective. Please see above question and answer for additional info.
Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.
No. USCIS defines curricular practical training (CPT) as an employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum. It includes alternative work/study, internship, or cooperative education arranged with the approval of your academic program, or any type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements. CPT may take place during the academic year and/or in the summer and MUST be undertaken and completed prior to the completion of a course of study.
Yes. A new application will be required if there is a change of employers or if the employment is to be continued beyond the current ending date. An updated offer letter and an updated Certificate of Completion of Studies form are required.
USCIS interprets CPT in two ways. CPT may be required or recommended. This is decided by the stated requirements of an academic degree. CPT is required when it is a required part of the curriculum; it should be mentioned in the University catalog in the description of the department's requirements for all students.

CPT is recommended when it is beneficial for the student to engage in the employment experience but the experience is NOT necessary for the completion of the degree. A student authorized for recommended CPT is required by current immigration regulations to register for a minimum of 1 college credit which reflects the CPT placement; this credit must be granted by the academic department for each semester of the CPT placement, including the summer semester. 
No fee is required with a CPT application submitted to the international student advisor. CPT is processed and approved at the international student advisor office.
If you have already started an application, do not start a new one. Please go to your User Home Page to continue working on your application.

For questions or concerns, please contact Agata Liszkowska at (410) 677-5495