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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • Eligibility & Applying

    Curricular Practical Training

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment that is an integral part of a student's established curriculum. The primary purpose of CPT is to achieve a specific academic objective in accordance with your academic program. It may not be used for the purpose of gaining of additional income. CPT cannot be authorized after course requirements, thesis/project or dissertation are completed. Authorization for CPT is given in the form of an I-20 endorsed by your Visa & Immigration Services  Advisor.

    • CPT can be part time during the academic year or full time during summer sessions, but may not run past the first day of the subsequent term of study. Part-time is defined as being 20 hours or less per week and full time as 21 or more hours per week.
    • If you are authorized for part-time CPT, your combined on-campus employment and CPT hours cannot exceed 20 hours of work per week (unless you are G5), while school is in session (this includes Teaching Assistant, Graduate Assistant and Research Assistant positions).
    • Full-time CPT may only be possible during the academic year for G5 students who are working on thesis/dissertation research.
    • An accumulation of 12 months of full-time CPT makes you ineligible for OPT for that degree level.
    • In addition, it's important to know that USCIS may count full-time CPT “cumulative” with full-time OPT employment, thus deeming you ineligible for future immigration benefits (i.e. H-1B, PR, etc.) if you exceed 12 months.
    • According to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10) "A student may be authorized 12 months of practical training, and becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he or she changes to a higher educational level."

    Eligibility for CPT:

    • Attendance at a CPT Workshop. 
    • Enrollment in an approved internship course for each semester you will request CPT authorization (including Winter and Summer terms). The course may be mandatory for all students in the degree program or may be optional, but must be in the major area of study and must apply toward completion of the degree requirements.
    • If you have completed all required course work except thesis or dissertation, your CPT must contribute data to your thesis or dissertation.
    • Employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
    • Enrolled as a full-time F-1 student for at least one academic year and maintaining valid F-1 status.
    • Maintaining good academic standing, have no pending I grades from prior semesters, and a satisfactory GPA:
      • Undergraduate Student GPA must be > 2.0
      • Graduate Student GPA must be > 3.0

    Application Procedures for CPT:

    1. Register for the approved internship course for the semester in which you will request CPT authorization.
    2. Complete both forms within the Curricular Practical Training request in  accessVIS.

    ● Upload the Employment Offer Letter: Signed offer letter printed on official letterhead addressing the following points:

    ● Description of your specific duties
    ● Dates of employment (begin and end dates)
    ● Number of hours of work per week
    ● Physical address of the employment (do not use P.O. Box)
    ● Name of your supervisor
    ● View Template Letter

    Allow 5-7 business days for processing. If your CPT request is approved, a new I-20 will be issued and you will be contacted via email.

  • CPT Workshops

    CPT and Pre-Completion OPT Virtual Workshop Schedule:

    This workshop will provide detailed information regarding the U.S. regulations and application procedures associated with Pre Completion OPT and CPT. Attendance and/or review of the CPT workshop is required for any F-1 Student who wishes to obtain work authorization to engage in Curricular Practical Training/Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training.

    Tuesday, August 31st 10:00 AM EST RSVP here
    Monday, October 4th 2:00 PM EST RSVP here
    Wednesday, November 10th  10:00 AM EST RSVP here






    Watch our most recent CPT webinar:

    What's the difference between CPT and OPT?  

    CPT vs. OPT


  • FAQ