College of the Extended University

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


"An F-1 student may be authorized by an International Student Advisor to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(F)(10)(i)".

The International Center will determine the eligiblity on a case by case basis.


  • Completion of an academic year in valid F-1 visa status and in good academic
  • Completion of one full academic year for graduate and undergraduate coursework at Cal Poly
  • Support from an Academic Advisor or Internship Coordinator in the student’s academic department.

CPT must be authorized and a new I-20 issued before employment begins

  • Enrollment in an internship course in the student’s major is required if credit is offered. CPT will be authorized while you take the internship course.
  • If internship credit is not available, an Academic Advisor or Internship Coordinator approves the employment for collecting research data or verifies that the employment is integral to the Polytechnic philosophy.
  • CPT is authorized one quarter at a time. Failure to work without renewing work authorization is a violation of F-1 Visa regulations. Do not assume consecutive terms will be approved. Seek approval prior to continued employment.
  • CPT is authorized part-time (20 hours or less per week) for specific dates of employment for a specific employer during an academic term. CPT can be full-time during official university breaks and summer term with approval.
  • 12 or more months of full-time CPT authorization makes a student ineligible to apply for Optional Practical

How to Apply

  1. Pick-up a CPT application form at the International Center’s Front Desk or download the CPT form
  2. Seek support from the academic department regarding eligibility and availability of internship course credit.
  3. Once employment is secured, complete Section 1 of the Clearance Form and attach a job offer letter or business card from the employer.
  4. Ask the Academic Advisor or Internship Coordinator to complete Section 2 of the Clearance.
  5. Bring the completed CPT form to the International Center and meet with an International Center Advisor.
  6. Pick up the endorsed CPT I-20 and begin the new job.

*Students cannot begin employment until they have CPT authorization.

**CPT is only available for the dates requested on the form.

***Each CPT request is reviewed on a case by case basis.