International Student Services

Curricular Practical Training

If you are an F student, you have the option of training in the United States by engaging in practical training during your program or after it ends. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. There are two types of practical training available for F-1 students: curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT).

You must have approved CPT before you begin your internship or training, paid or unpaid. You may be in violation of your visa status if you begin your internship before obtaining CPT authorization from the International Programs Office (IPO). You must submit your completed CPT authorization at least one week before your internship start date. Once approved, you will receive a new Form I-20 from the IPO with CPT authorization details, which you should present to your training site supervisor upon request.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • CPT is integral to your major and the experience must be part of your program of study. It must be approved by the International Programs Office (IPO) before beginning your work. Please set up an appointment for this process.
  • Your DSO at the International Programs Office (IPO) will provide you a new Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” that shows that the DSO has approved you for this employment.
  • You can work on CPT either full-time or part-time.
  • CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or a letter from your employer.
  • If you have 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT, but part-time CPT is fine and will not stop you from doing OPT.
  • When you enroll at the graduate level, your designated school official (DSO) at the International Programs Office may authorize CPT during your first semester if your program requires this type of experience. Ask your DSO for details.