Curricular Practical Training 


What is CPT?

Students required or choosing to participate in internship programs to successfully complete their degree requirements can engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience in his or her field of study by obtaining permission to work off-campus. This type of employment is called Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

The work performed while on CPT must be directly related to your field of study as listed on your current I-20. In addition, you must receive academic credit and a grade for the work experience. The work can be paid or unpaid.  


Am I Eligible for CPT?

To be eligible for CPT employment authorization, you must meet the following criteria:


Do I need cpt?

All students with an off campus internship or work experience class are required to have CPT approval before beginning the course. You must have CPT approval for both a paid or unpaid internship. 


CPT Facts

Location: Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved. The work can be done anywhere in the U.S.

Duration: The approval period should coincide with the term for which the student is enrolled in the internship course. The CPT authorized period cannot cross semesters. You must get a separate CPT authorization for each semester you are on CPT. 

Hours per Week: CPT can be approved part-time (20 hours per week) or full-time (21 hours or more per week).

Field/Level of Work: Must be an integral part of an established curriculum in the student's field of study as listed on the current I-20. 


Approval Process

To be approved for CPT employment authorization, complete the application and schedule an appointment with the ISS.

NOTE: You must complete the approval process PRIOR to beginning work. You must have the CPT I-20 in order to begin work. Working without CPT approval is working without employment authorization. This violates your F-1 status and you could face termination of your I-20 for working without authorization.