Curricular Practical Training
CPT is not a supplemental training experience but rather an “integral part of an established curriculum” meaning it is a required part of the degree or program of study in the form of alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or other types of required internship or practicum that a sponsoring employer offers through agreements with the academic school.
CPT can not be authorized to obtain real-world experience or to build your résumé. Students interested in practical training for these purposes must apply for OPT with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
International students interested in CPT should consult with their academic advisor for assistance in determining if the off-campus experience meets all academic requirements. Once course registration has been processed, the student must submit the Curricular Practical Training Request using the International Services Portal for authorization from the designated school official. Students must not begin any practical training without CPT authorization.
If the experience is not an academic experience required by the curriculum but a supplemental experience, students should speak with their designated school official and apply for pre-completion OPT.
- CPT is not employment experience. It is academic and must be treated as such
- The CPT application process must follow the academic calendar “drop/add” dates
- CPT must occur before a student’s program end date
- Students must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized
- A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving their Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement and not before the CPT start date indicated on the form
- One year or more of full-time CPT eliminates students’ OPT eligibility at the same educational level
- Students can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time
- CPT authorization is needed for each employer and each training experience
- CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or letter from the employer
- The designated school official authorizes CPT and it can not be backdated
- The CPT experience must relate directly to the student’s major area of study and be an integral part of the school’s established curriculum.
- CPT authorization and academic credit must occur in the same academic term.
- The CPT experience can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time as necessary to meet the academic program requirements.
- CPT must occur before a student’s program end date indicated on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
- A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement and not before the CPT start date indicated on the form.
- CPT authorization requires a signed cooperative agreement or letter from the employer.
- To be eligible for CPT, you must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis while physically present in the US for one academic year (i.e. two full consecutive terms) unless your academic program requires immediate participation for all students.
CPT Request Process
Students meeting the listed eligibility requirements requesting curricular practical training authorization from the designated school official must take the following actions:
- Log into the International Services Portal using your eCampus credentials
- Locate the student request options and complete the curricular practical training request
- The student must provide the following; Training start and end date, Full or part-time, Employer name, Employer address, Type of training, Number of credits received, Course title and number associated, and an explanation of how the training is academic.
- Students applying for an elective training experience must provide a signed letter from the employer.
- The academic advisor must review and approve the academic training experience.
- The designated school official will review the request once complete and make a determination if the student meets the requirements. If so, the CPT will be authorized, a new I-20 issued, and the student notified.
Practical Training Workshops
International Services offers monthly workshops for interested students detailing the requirements and application process for interested students and advisors.