Curricular practical training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment that is central to your curriculum and provides work experience prior to the completion of your program. The CPT position must be directly related to your major and must be authorized by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before the academic add/drop period ends for that semester. CPT can be full-time or part-time.

Types of CPT

  • Required by the degree program as part of the core requirements (with or without academic credit).
  • Central (but not required) part of your degree program that provides you with academic credit toward your degree.
  • Cooperative education employment through Career Services. Cooperative education, or "co-op positions," are work opportunities related to your field of study. Companies create work plans for students and progress is monitored by Career Services. At the end of the experience, both the student and employer complete an evaluation and the co-op position is noted on your university transcript.


  • You must be on valid F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year.
  • You must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting academic program (not the English Language Institute). If you have already graduated, you would not quality for CPT.
  • You must remain enrolled for a full course of study during CPT (unless your academic program requires all students to participate in full-time internships/practicum/training as a degree requirement or during spring/summer term after one academic year of study).
  • You must complete the CPT Online Training Manual at:

Who can participate

  • Students that have been lawfully enrolled full-time for one academic year (2 semesters) may apply to participate in CPT. However; graduate students in programs that include immediate, mandatory training are not bound by the one-academic-year in full-time status requirement.
  • To be eligible for CPT, you must have a job offer since the employment authorization will be position and employer specific. If there are any changes in the terms and conditions of the CPT, please contact OISS immediately as a new CPT authorization might be necessary.
  • Part-time or full-time CPT may be authorized depending on eligibility.
  • CPT will not be granted to students who have finished all course requirements or are taking candidacy research courses or are in maintenance or are about to defend (or have already defended) their thesis/dissertation or who are delaying graduation to make use of CPT. If you need an internship to gather data for your dissertation, plan accordingly and complete your CPT prior to entering candidacy or maintenance. CPT will not be approved for students in candidacy or maintenance and they will have to apply for OPT.

You must receive authorization from OISS before you can begin CPT. It is approved on a semester basis, so if you need additional time past your current CPT end date, you'll need to reapply.

Make an appointment with OISS as soon as you receive your CPT job offer and no later than 10 days before employment is set to begin.

Bring these documents with you to the appointment:

Once your OISS advisor approves your completed application, they'll prepare a new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT endorsement. CPT is employer-specific, so you can only work for the company listed on your I-20.

Start and end dates

You can begin CPT as soon as you receive your endorsed I-20 from your OISS advisor.

You cannot begin working before the start date listed on your I-20 and you can't work after the end date. Internships cannot begin before the first day of classes and must end by the last day of the term for which your CPT was granted.


Please review the CPT Training Module for more information on Curricular Practical Training.

Contact OISS

If you have questions about the CPT, contact OISS by emailing