Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internships or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” Source: [8 CR 214.2(f)(10)(i)] 

Practical Training is temporary employment authorization directly related to an F-1 student's major field of study.  CPT can be either paid or unpaid experiences.  The employment/training may be either part-time or full-time.

F-1 students who have received an aggregate of one year or more of full-time CPT become ineligible for optional practical training (OPT) at the same educational level. 

Important: The CPT must be approval by ISSS prior to beginning the employment and it must be documented on SEVIS. 

  • Student MUST either receive credit from a course (such as an internship/practicum course or an independent study) related to their major field of study OR the work MUST be a requirement for the student’s major field of study.

  • Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at an SEVP-approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Exceptions exists for graduate students whose program require immediate curricular training for all students in the program. 

  • Student must be in valid F-1 status and must meet full course of study requirements.

  • CPT is available only before the end date listed on the Form I-20.

  • Students in English language training program or International Study Center are ineligible for CPT.

  • The student must have a job offer when submitting the CPT request.

Complete the Curricular Practical Training request in Terra Dotta. Additional instructions are included in Terra Dotta.

  • Upload your training/employment offer letter on employer letter head. The letter will include the employer’s name, address, starting and ending dates, number of hours to be worked per week, and description of the position (outlining specific duties, tasks, goals, etc.).
  • Submit the email address of your academic advisor or faculty advisor to complete the recommendation.  

Contact ISSS for more information and questions about this employment option and application process.


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