Curricular Practical Training


Basic Description:

  • F-1 students who wish to participate in an off-campus training program that is "an integral part of an established curriculum" must first obtain work authorization for CPT.  The training must be directly related to the student's major field of study, is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school" (federal regulation 8CFR214,2(f)(10)).  This cooperative agreement is formalized through an Internship/Practicum/Co-Op course in which the student enrolls.
  • Curricular Practical Training may be full-time or part-time.  Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time.  Students participating in full-time CPT are not required to enroll a full course of study.  You must register for  and complete an internship, practicum, or Co-op course during the semester you are on CPT.  Contact your academic advisor for course details.
  • Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time.  Students registered for part-time CPT during fall or spring semester must also be registered for a full course of study to maintain their F-1 status.  Students in part-time CPT during summer vacation do not need to register full time.  You must register for and complete an internship, practicum, or Co-op course during the semester you are on CPT.  Contact your academic advisor for course details.

Eligibility Requirements:
To be eligible to apply for CPT, you must:

  • Be in full-time student status for one full semester year (Fall and Spring semester).  Time spent at INTERLINK does not  count towards the one academic year requirement;
  • Be in F-1 visa status when applying;
  • Be registered full time every semester (except for summer vacation);
  • Possess a valid, unexpired passport;
  • Possess an I-20 that is unexpired and reflect current information such as major and educational level.  Please note that if your I-20 is not current, you will need to provide document to reflect the changes so we can update your I-20 before processing the work authorization.  This will delay the processing time of your CPT application.

Application and Authorization Process:
Pick up the CPT application packet, which consists of:

Make an appointment to see an advisor at OIP, bring the following documents:

  1. Job description;
  2. Position is full-time or part-time (number of hours per week);
  3. Specific beginning and ending dates of employment;
  4. Mailing address of employment

Important information regarding CPT:

  • Student who completes 12 months of FULL-TIME  CPT will NOT be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT); student who completes 12 months or more part-time CPT will still be eligible for OPT;
  • You will need your new CPT I-20 before starting employment;
  • You may not begin employment prior to obtaining CPT authorization from OIP;
  • You may not work prior to the date authorized, or beyond the dates authorized, as indicated on your new I-20.
  • You may only work for the employer indicated on your new I-20.
  • Remember to register for and complete the course related to your CPT.  Failure to do so will make you fall out-of-status.

If there is a change in the dates and employer, please contact OIP immediately.  New paperwork will be needed before you may start working for the new employer.