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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

To be eligible for CPT, a student must have completed one full academic year.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is paid or unpaid training that must be an integral part of an established curriculum in the student’s course of study and is:

  • required of all students in that program of study,
  • required for a particular course and/or curricular track or approved elective, or
  • offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

CPT is training that must be undertaken before an F-1 student completes all the requirements for his/her degree.  This can be a paid or unpaid internship or any other form of cooperative education.  It may be part-time or full-time.  Students enrolled in Thesis or Dissertation credit are only eligible for part-time CPT. Student requesting full-time CPT must be enrolled in full-time course work (internship or practicum credit). Students must register for their CPT course prior to the beginning of the semester.  CPT cases are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. You should speak with an student advisor to confirm you are eligible before accepting any internships.

The use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT.  The use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT. (Anything over 20 hours per week is considered full-time.)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  F-1 students are required to pursue a full course of study and be making normal progress in achieving his or her educational objective as specified on the Form I-20 to maintain status.  Taking on additional, unrequired coursework, employment, or research that delays progress is a violation of F-1 status.
CPT Application Process

Internships are available through Experiential Education and Career Services – James W. Stuckert Career Center, 408 Rose Street:  Attendance at a 50-minute Information Session is required.

The student and academic advisor will submit documentation to the F-1 Advisor through iCAT, including:

  • copy of the final Learning Contract/Employment offer letter
  • details regarding the relationship of the training/employment to the degree program

Upon approval by the DSO, a SEVIS I-20 will be issued granting employment authorization for the specific employer.

Graduate Students participating in a departmental course requiring an internship component:

  • Completed CPT request form in iCAT are required with a confirmation from the department detailing the curricular requirement and a letter from the prospective employer.
  • Full-time CPT is allowed only in summer and with enrollment in an independent study course.
  • Students with full Research or Teaching Assistantships are not eligible for part-time CPT because F-1 students are limited to 20 hours of employment per week when school is in session per university policy.

NOTE:  Graduate students who have completed coursework are only eligible for CPT authorization if the employment is required and contributes materially and substantially to the successful completion of their dissertation or thesis as established under the direction of their dissertation or thesis advisor and committee.  Students in the research only phase of a program are not required to take any additional coursework.  Coursework in this case is already considered an “integral part of the established” curriculum.

To apply for CPT, please submit your request in iCAT here: