Curricular Practical Training

What is CPT? 

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary work authorization required for any off-campus work during an F-1 student’s academic program.   
  • Off-campus work = job, internship, co-op, gig/performance, freelance work, working for a startup, etc. 
  • CPT is required for both paid and unpaid positions 
  • CPT must be authorized before you begin working. You will receive a new I-20 with the CPT listed on the second page.  

 

Qualifying for CPT   

To be eligible for CPT, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be in lawful full-time F-1 status for a full academic year (some graduate programs may require immediate or earlier work authorization—please contact your academic advisor and OISS advisor for more information) 
  • Not currently on academic probation 
  • CPT must be an integral part of your program of study and related to a specific course.  This is determined by your academic advisor, program director, dean or PI.  As part of the CPT application process, your academic advisor (or similar academic authority figure) must certify that your job is directly related to your major, minor or certificate program, and to a specific course.   
  • You must be registered for an academic course directly related to your CPT internship.  During the academic year, you must be registered for the course during the same quarter as your CPT.  For Summer Quarter CPT, you may relate your internship to a Spring/Fall course.   
  • CPT is generally authorized on a quarter/semester basis.  Exceptions will be made on an individual basis for longer CPT opportunities.   
  • You are not authorized to work until your CPT authorization is approved.   

 

How to apply for CPT 

  1. Secure internship/job and obtain a job offer letter. Your job offer letter should contain: 
    • Start and end dates of this job (start date must be at least 1-2 weeks in the future.  We cannot back-date CPT authorizations) 
    • Complete address where you will work 
    • Company name 
    • Approximate number of hours per week you will work 
  2. Submit your CPT request in the OISS Portal 
  3. The CPT authorization request is sent to the person you specified as your “recommender”-- your academic advisor/program director/PI/dean.  Your recommender certifies: 
    • You are making academic progress 
    • This CPT opportunity is directly related to your major area of study 
    • This CPT opportunity is directly related to an academic course you are currently enrolled in/will enroll in 
  4. Your OISS advisor processes your CPT authorization and prints a new I-20 with a new travel signature.  This process takes one week from the time we receive a complete CPT application, including your advisor’s recommendation. 

   5. Pick up your new CPT I-20, bring it to the first day of your internship and keep this new original I-20 for your records (+ keep all other original I-20s!)

 

Additional CPT info: 

  • CPT is authorized as either Part-Time (20 hours/week or fewer) or Full-Time (21+ hours/week). 
  •  You may participate in up to 12 months of Full-Time CPT before it deducts from your 12 months of Post-Completion OPT 
  • Most students only participate in Full-Time CPT during Summer Quarter.  Full-time CPT requests in Fall, Winter, or Spring terms will be scrutinized. You should plan to meet with your OISS advisor, or respond to questions about your request by email.  
  • If you are interested in applying for CPT in your final quarter and have also applied for a Reduced Course Load, please speak to your OISS advisor to confirm if you qualify for CPT 
  • CPT requests submitted for I-20 extension periods will also be closely evaluated, and may require discussion with your academic advisor prior to approval. 
  • Students may work on campus and on CPT at the same time, but please remember that your academic coursework and commitments are your top priority!