Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is only available to F-1 students who have not graduated and who have been enrolled on a full-time basis for two consecutive semesters.

Curricular Practical Training is defined as employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum and is directly related to the student’s major of study. In order to be eligible for CPT, you must be enrolled in a course that requires an internship. You also may be eligible for CPT if you take COOP. An academic adviser must complete the request from (see documents and forms) to verify the employment and to help the DSO determine your eligibility for CPT.

Students may be authorized for CPT only one semester at a time. If two consecutive semesters of CPT are desired, the student must complete a new application 2-3 weeks before the next CPT period begins. Students may apply for full-time CPT during summer break and part-time CPT, no more than 20 hours per week, during an academic semester. Students are not eligible for CPT after completing course requirements for the degree. There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in full-time Curricular Practical Training, but if you participate for 12 months or more, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training.


It is illegal to work off-campus under any circumstances until you first receive authorization from the DSO. If a student has a job offer and meets the eligibility requirements for CPT, authorization is given on a new SEVIS 1-20 form, and no additional employment authorization document from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is required.


Complete this process as soon as you receive a job offer or at least 1 week before your expected start date.

Schedule an appointment with Shirley and bring the following documents:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Form I-20
  3. Advisor recommendation form (see forms and documents)
  4. Original offer letter that includes the following information
  • number of hours per week
  • location of employment
  • beginning and ending dates of employment

If any of these details change, new forms must be completed and new authorization must be obtained.

The CPT authorization is granted by the DSO. Note that there may be a one or two day delay in processing a new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT authorization. You may not begin working until you have the new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT authorization. You must not work beyond the completion date authorized on your I-20 unless you apply for and are granted another period of work permission by the DSO.

Volunteer Internships

International students may participate in volunteer internships as long as no compensation is received for services rendered. Compensation includes money, lodging, meals, transportation, or gift certificates. Please see Shirley before engaging in any volunteer services.