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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to engage in employment as long as it is an integral part of their curriculum. This employment includes:  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.

Pre-requisites for CPT:

  • Practical training must be an integral part of the curriculum still in progress and must be required by the academic program.
  • Student must be receiving course credit throughout the CPT period.
  • CPT must fulfill a specific academic objective so if an employment opportunity is solely sought because it is beneficial, relevant, or excellent professional/personal experience does NOT qualify for CPT.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Student must have been lawfully full-time enrolled to a degree granting program for one full academic year (3 quarters/2 semesters) before applying for CPT.

*Exception for graduate students whose programs require immediate CPT 

  • Must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.
  • Cannot be on the last term of studies

*Exception for transfers from another U.S. institution

Please click on the following image to view a Curricular Practical Training Online Workshop
CPT Online Workshop


  • Student must first meet with the Student Career development Center (SCDC) or their Academic Advisor to receive approval for CPT
  • Once they have received this approval they will take their paperwork to ISSS to be processed

*Paperwork must be submitted to ISSS BEFORE the CPT start date.

  • All paperwork takes up to 72 hours to be processed
  • Once processed, the student must pick up their updated I-20 from our office before beginning work.

Types of forms:

    • SCDC’s Form signed by co-op adviser
  • GR. Internship/Practicum
    • Department's formal Letter signed by academic adviser
  • PhD Internship
    • Department's formal Letter signed by Dr. Lim (Graduate studies office).

Duration of CPT:

  • Participation must cover the entire duration of the term and must begin prior to the add/drop deadline, and end the last day of the quarter. 
  • Extensions beyond the last day of the term (i.e. during break week) are only approved by ISSS on case by case and could NOT roll over at the new term.
  • Quarter by quarter authorization is necessary.

  *Exception: Co-op (undergraduate/graduate)

How many hours can you work on CPT?

  • Can be approved for part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (over 20 hours per week) depending on the type of CPT

If you need to make any changes to CPT :

  • Any work interruptions or date changes while on authorized CPT must be reported to ISSS BEFORE the change(s) occur. Email from academic adviser/co-op advisor will be required to implement any CPT employment changes.

CPT length and OPT eligibility:

  • Use of full-time CPT for one year (364days) or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training.
  • Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for Optional Practical Training.
  • CPT Abroad it does not count towards 364 days

Co-op Abroad:

  • Keep Full-Time registration each term
  • SEVIS will remain active
  • No ISSS authorization/new I-20 is required
  • Travel Signature on I-20 before departure             
  • Submit to ISSS copy of the SCDC agreement