International Students and Scholars Office

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is a type of off-campus work permission for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing degree programs in the United States and want to gain work experience in their fields of study. 

It is an academic experience and is not intended to be used for a regular on-going off-campus job. Students should be mindful to keep all records of CPT and the academic work related to CPT, and how that employment is integral to the degree program. Students will need to retain copies of all previous CPT I-20s when applying later for OPT.

“Practical training” may include:
  • Internship experience (paid or unpaid)
  • Cooperative (co-op) education experience
  • Practicum participation

Employment authorization can be:
  • Part-time (20 hours per week or less)
  • Full-time (more than 20 hours per week)
  • During the regular academic year, students can work PT on CPT while enrolled in full-time courses as required to maintain status.
  • During your annual vacation term students can be authorized to work FT CPT.


  • Students who accumulate 12 months or more of full-time CPT authorization lose their eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). 
  • Part-time CPT authorization, or fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization, does not affect OPT eligibility. 

  1. You are currently in valid F-1 status
  2. You have been enrolled full-time at a SEVIS approved Institution for at least one full academic year
    1. “One academic year” at CPP is defined as full-time enrollment in two semesters.
    2. An exception to the academic year rule is provided for graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT
  3. You have an employment offer letter
    1. The position is related to your major.
    2. CPT cannot be authorized based on a minor.
  4. The employment letter must be typed on company letterhead and contain the following information:
    1. Identity of student
    2. Job description
    3. Employment start date
    4. Number of hours/week the student is expected to work
    5. Employer contact information
    6. Supervisor's title
    7. Supervisor's name
    8. Supervisor's telephone number
    9. Signature and title of employer

cpt workshop flyer

Please click the link for a list of upcoming CPT info sessions: HERE


  1. Student submits the CPT Clearance form.

View Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Clearance form Application Guidelines

(Please note that I will attach an updated version of the CPT clearance form application guidelines for “view”.)

  1. Academic Advisor reviews the submission
  2. International Student Advisor reviews the submission.

Allow 3-5 business days. 

  1. Student receives a decision via email

If approved: student will receive a new I-20 document with CPT authorization via email.

If denied: student should contact their International Student Advisor for an explanation.

Important: Do not begin any employment until CPT has been approved and authorized on your I-20. Beginning or continuing employment without authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 status. Incomplete applications may cause CPT to be denied or delayed.

Please not that the ISSO is unable to provide tax related advising. See U.S. Taxes for more information. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • CPT is employment that is an integral part of your major curriculum and allows you to participate in an internship, practicum or cooperative education program. CPT is employer specific and must be done before you graduate. OPT is optional for any student who meets the eligibility requirements.
  • OPT may be done before or after you graduate. Please refer the OPT page for more information.

Students must maintain F-1 student status, which generally requires full-time registration. Most students are required to register as full-time students while on CPT.

Students may use as much CPT as is required for their degree program. However, when authorized for a total of 12 months of full-time CPT, students are not eligible for OPT.

Part-time CPT does not affect OPT.


Students must have an offer of employment to apply for CPT since the authorization is for a specific employer.

Students may change within the limits of part-time or full-time.

For example, students may change from 10 hours per week to 15 hours per week without a new authorization. However, students who want to change from part-time to full-time (or vice versa) must request a new authorization.

Students are authorized for specific dates of employment on their I-20. Students may not begin before the start date or continue after the end date.

Students must apply for an extension with sufficient time to allow the assigned International Student Advisor to issue a new CPT authorization before continuing beyond the end date of the current CPT.

You need a Social Security Number to be able to get paid.

Please see "US Taxes" for more information.

No. The CPT authorization on page 2 of the I-20 is proof of employment eligibility and together with the I-94 record may be used to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 required by an employer.

If an employer has questions about documentation required for I-9 purposes, please refer them to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “I-9 Central” webpage, including the section about international students with training authorization.

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