F-1 Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 students is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, still in progress. Students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year (9 months), may apply to participate in this type of training. However, graduate students in programs that require training in the first year of a student’s program are not bound to the one academic year in F-1 status requirement. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program, which does not include Continuing Education, Exploration, Graduate Non-Degree, American Language Program and those students who have not yet declared a major.

Students who are authorized for one year or more of full-time curricular practical training are ineligible for optional practical training after completion of that degree program. Part-time curricular practical training may be authorized for any length of time without penalty. However, part-time CPT (employment of 20 or fewer hours per week) requires students to enroll for a full course load in order to maintain status as a full-time student. Students authorized for full-time CPT (greater than 20 hours per week) need not register for any academic credit during the quarter they are authorized to work. CPT is normally given for one quarter at a time.

Students with a 75% Graduate Assistantship (GA) appointment must apply for full-time CPT and should do so before their 75% appointments begin.

Position Eligibility

To be eligible for curricular practical training, at least one of the following must be met:

  • The employment must be required to complete graduation requirements (this includes work necessary to complete thesis or dissertation); or

  • The employment must be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

Note: Students who are finished with all coursework may not apply for curricular practical training, unless they are graduate students who will incorporate research conducted in the workplace into their thesis or dissertation.

Foreign nationals in the United States (an employee transfer) must also complete the following:

  • If presently in F-1 status, a copy of both sides of the most recent Form I-20, along with a copy of the employment authorization document (EAD) if on optional practical training (OPT).