Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorizes an F-1 student to engage in off-campus employment as part of the curriculum of your degree program. CPT employment MUST be directly related to your major field of study. CPT authorization is issued by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and specifies the employer, site of employment, and start and end dates of the training.

CPT authorization is required for both paid and unpaid off-campus internships.

ISSS offers workshops to explain eligibility for Curricular Practical Training and the application process. Please contact for a list of dates.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as an "alternative 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." CPT must be in an F-1 student's major area of study and considered "an integral part of an established curriculum." "A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement" [214.2(f)(10)(i)].

Employment not required by the degree program or arranged through an approved co-op agreement, must be tied to an academic course. The employment must be related to the student's major field (minor academic disciplines cannot be used). Demonstrating the academic tie for Curricular Practical Training requires that a student register for a course in the established curriculum that requires the employment (GS198/GS199). The enrollment MUST occur during the semester in which the employment begins or as close to the beginning of the Curricular Practical Training as possible.


To be eligible for CPT a student must:

  • Be maintaining valid F-1 status
  • have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year prior to the training start date
  • Be making normal progress toward degree completion and be in good academic standing
  • Have a job offer directly related to your MAJOR field of study

  1. Complete the CPT application form in Summit
  2. Obtain a description of your job/internship duties from your supervisor and upload the document to your CPT application in Summit. The letter should include:
    • The beginning and end dates of your employment;
    • The number of hours you are expected to work per week;
    • The name and address of your employer (the letter must be on company letterhead signed by your supervisor);
  3. Enroll in the General Studies: Internship Adjunct course in CANVAS (GS198/GS199).

ISSS will review your documents and determine whether or not you are eligible to be authorized for CPT. If you are approved for CPT, you may begin working as of the start date of your CPT authorization. Note that you will need the I-20 with the CPT authorization in hand before you can begin working.

In order to be authorized for CPT, you will need to work with both the Career Center and ISSS. Check out this video from international students to learn more about the services our offices can provide for the CPT process!

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020