Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is temporary employment authorization that allows an F-1 student to gain practical experience via an internship, work off-campus, or cooperative program that is directly related to the student's program of study. CPT is linked to a specific course, is credit-bearing, and is limited to the specific employer and dates of employment listed on the CPT application.

You must receive authorization from the IO prior to the beginning requested date of employment. Once your CPT request has been approved, you will receive a new CPT I-20 reflecting your authorization to work. CPT is date and employer specific.

All students interested in applying for CPT are encouraged to attend a CPT workshop.

New! We have recorded a webinar in conjunction with University Career Services that focuses on CPT and How to Find an Internship as an International Student.  Please feel free to access the recording by clicking HERE.

In order to be eligible for CPT, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in lawful full-time F-1 status for a full academic year.
  • Be in good academic standing with the university.
  • The requested training must be an integral part of your program of study.
  • Your academic advisor must sign the CPT application form.
  • You have provided a job offer letter that meets the criteria listed below (see Job Offer Letter).

Additionally, the following applies to CPT:

  • An employment offer letter and academic advisor's recommendation are required to apply for CPT.
  • The student may begin working only after receiving approval from the IO. (i.e. a CPT endorsed I-20)
  • Work authorization is given per quarter/semester--additional quarters/semesters require a new application.

Processing Time
Once you have turned in a completed CPT application during walk-in hours, you will receive a new CPT I-20 in 3-5 business days. If you are missing any documents or information, your international student advisor will let you know.

General Information
Work authorization is given per quarter/semester--additional quarters/semesters require a new application. You may use a job offer letter that covers more than one academic term, but you must still apply each term for CPT. In this case, the end date requested will be the end of the quarter/semester.

Part-time CPT at the master's level cannot be combined with another part time job, such as a teaching assistantship, because combined, they are considered full-time employment.

An F-1 student may only apply for CPT based on one of the following categories:

  • Work is needed to fulfill course requirements.
  • Work is part of an established cooperative or clinical training program.
  • Work is necessary for the completion of the degree, thesis, or dissertation.
    (This category is most often used by graduate students who are registering for continuation courses.)

How to Apply

  • Attend a Curricular Practical Training Workshop. To find one that fits your schedule, click here.
  • Obtain a job offer letter that meets the criteria listed below (Job Offer Letter)
  • Complete the CPT Academic Advisor's Recommendation Form - this may be signed by your academic advisor or dean.
  • Turn in the following documents to the IO during walk-in hours:
    • Academic Advisor's Recommendation form
    • Job offer letter (see details below)
    • NOTE - the IO needs to keep a copy of the offer letter; please bring a copy, not the original

If the application is approved by your international student advisor, the period of CPT will be entered into SEVIS and a new I-20 will be printed for you. If your application is not approved or is incomplete, you will be e-mailed by your international student advisor.

If needed, apply for a Social Security Number after picking up the I-20 at the International Office. You will need a letter from the International Office. You can obtain this after your CPT has been approved by completing our Document Request Form online.

Job Offer Letter
The letter should be typed on company letterhead and must contain the following information:

  • Job title and responsibilities.
  • Dates of employment - must match dates on Academic Advisor's Recommendation Form.
  • Number of hours per week; part-time is 20 hours or less and full-time is 21 hours or more.
  • Employer's address and phone number.
  • Address where the employment will take place.
  • Signature of hiring manager or supervisor.
  • NOTE - the IO needs to keep a copy of the offer letter; please bring a copy, not the original

Long-Term Employment Offers
You might receive a job offer that spans more than one quarter. This is allowed, provided that your program enables you to be registered for a CPT class for multiple terms. Keep in mind that if you have 12 months of full-time CPT, you will not be able to apply for OPT.

  • You may turn in an employment letter with the long term dates of your offered employment. The end date of CPT should be the end of the quarter/semester.
  • You will still need to turn in an Academic Advisor's Form for each quarter covered.
  • You may turn in all Academic Advisor's Forms in the first quarter, but you will need to coordinate with your international student advisor to have each period of CPT added in a timely manner.