Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a work authorization that allows a student to work in a job related to his/her field.

Curricular Practical Training is a benefit under the federal regulations for F-1 students, particularly those who require paid internships in their academic programs of study. Federal regulations affecting F-1 students define curricular practical training as "paid employment which is not only related to the student’s major field of study, but which is also an integral part of the department’s established curriculum". It could be an internship, an alternate work/study experience, cooperative education, or any other type of required paid experience or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the student’s academic department. If not required, it must be strongly recommended by the student’s academic department. It may or may not carry academic credit and is to be done prior to the completion of the student’s academic program. In order to be eligible, the student must have been in F-1 status for a period of one academic year just prior to the start of the employment. Any student who works for one year or more in full-time curricular practical training, however, is not eligible for any practical training after completion of studies.

To qualify, students must:

  • Have been full-time status for one academic year prior to employment. During the training, the student must be in valid student status as well. (i.e. the training must be done in advance of the completion of program).
  • Be recommended by the academic advisor
  • Have a letter of employment form the employed specifying the name and address of the employer, the work that the student will perform, and the beginning and ending dates of the employment.
  • Obtain employment authorization from the DSO or PDSO on a new SEVIS I-20 form from the Office of International Student Affairs (this employment authorization does not require the EAD card from the DHS).