Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a type of off-campus work authorization which permits eligible F-1 international students to engage in paid or unpaid work experience which "is an integral part of the established curriculum" and "directly related to the student's major area of study." Employment includes alternate work/study internships, cooperative education, or other typea of required internships or practicums. CPT may be part-time (up to 20 hours/week) or full-time (over 20 hours/week), depending on the requirements of the internship or co-op. Students who participate more than twelve months of full-time CPT are ineligible to participate in OPT.


1. Must be in valid F-1 status for one academic year (two semesters).

2. Must maintain a full course of study.

3. Must be in good academic standing.

4. Must have approval from academic personell (advisor, department chair, or graduate coordinator) in College and/or Department in a major field of study.

5. Must enroll in an internship course or equivalent.

CPT Application procedures:

Campus resources for you to start your search for an internship include:

Once you receive a position, the offer letter should:

  1. Be on official company letterhead
  2. Have a specific start date and a specific end date
  3. Include the location where your work will be performed
  4. Include the number of hours per week you will work
  5. Include a description of your position duties
  6. Be signed and dated by your employer

This process can vary from department to department. However, academic departments may have an "internship contract form" or "internship approval form." For example, please see the Computer Science Department formsRetain a copy of the approval form for your personal records and one for IPGE.

Engineering and Computer Science Students registering for a Co-Op must follow the proecdures on the ECS Career Services site.

You must be registered an internship, practicum, or co-op through your major (typically a 195/295 course).

After your enrollment is complete, bring the following to your appointment:

  • Job Offer letter (see criteria above).
  • Internship approval documentation from your major department (varies by department)
  • If you do not already have an SSN and your CPT is paid, please bring the items as described in the SSN process.

Your ISSS advisor will review your materials and verify departmental approval. If approved, you will be issued a new I-20 with a CPT authorization.


  • The entire CPT process must be done before you begin your internship. 
  • You are only authorized to work at the location on your CPT authorization during the days specified. Any work outside of your CPT authorization (at a different location, or outside of the approved dates) is considered unauthorized employment and you will be considered out of status.
  • Opportunities that last for more than one semester require a separate approval process for each semester.