F-1 Curricular Practical Training

 What is Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available to F-1 students who are lawfully enrolled in F-1 status and who would like work experience prior to the completion of their academic program.

Who is eligible for Curricular Practical Training?

To be eligible for CPT, employment must be a required, integral part of an academic program’s established curriculum within the student’s course of study. CPT may be approved for part-time or full-time employment, depending on the curriculum requirements. Students must have a written recommendation from their academic advisor and an offer of employment from a curriculum-approved employer. In general, students must maintain full-time academic enrollment while working on CPT, excluding vacation periods.

Prior to the start of employment, students will need to receive authorization from International Students and Scholar Office (ISSO) Advisor who records the employment in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and issues a new I-20 Form with a notation that permits the student to engage in CPT. Students must re-apply to ISSO anytime they change employers, extend or shorten their hours, or extend the length of their employment period.

How to apply for Curricular Practical Training?

To apply for CPT, the student must obtain approval from below individuals and must bring the following letters to the ISSO Office at least one month prior to the start of expected employment:

A letter from employer that containing start and end dates of employment, job description, hours per week, address of work location and name of supervisor

A letter from academic advisor explaining that the job experience is an integral part of the academic program and is required of all students

Please allow five business days for the processing of the I-20 with CPT notation from the ISSO. ISSO will contact the student when the form is ready to be picked up.

IMPORTANT: Use of full-time CPT for 12 months or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT)