What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular practical training (CPT) is defined as any required or optional practical training (work/study, internship, practicum, cooperative education, or other employment) that is an integral part of the established curriculum for a program of study. Most CPT occurs off-campus.
General practical training requirements
To be eligible for CPT, you must meet general requirements.
One academic year, F-1 requirement
CPT and graduate study
There is no specific application period for CPT. However, CPT documents must be submitted early enough so that you will have the new I-20 with CPT authorization before you begin your CPT.
How to apply
Follow these application steps:
Processing Time, Dates of Authorization, and Hours Allowed
When can I start employment?
You can only begin the training opportunity after you receive CPT authorization through your new CPT I-20. If you work before receiving CPT authorization, you are in violation of your F-1 visa which is grounds for termination of your SEVIS immigration record. This could result in the immediate return to your home country, an inability to finish your program, and/or problems when applying for a new U.S. visa or trying to re-enter the U.S. in the future. CPT cannot be backdated to include illegal work that was performed before it was authorized.
After uploading the required the CPT documents, CPT processing takes two business weeks, provided all documents are correct and you are enrolled in the CPT course (if required).
For students who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) allow additional time to receive your CPT I-20 in the mail after it is processed. If you already have an SSN, you will be notified when your I-20 is ready for pick up.
Dates of authorization
CPT is authorized according to term dates, except in cases where CPT is required for the degree program or for the thesis.
When class is in session, an undergraduate student may work up to 20 hours per week on CPT. During the summer and official school breaks, full-time CPT is allowed with authorization.
A graduate student may work part-time or full-time on CPT, as authorized by the advisor on the CPT Record Form.
Changes in Authorization and CPT Extension Requests
Ending CPT Early
If you will end your CPT before the CPT end date that we authorized, please send an email to informing us that you will end your CPT early and include the new ending date.
Changes in CPT employer, dates of employment, or hoursOther changes to your CPT authorization will require you to complete a new request form and upload new documents with changes. The most common changes are: the employer, employer address, and hours per week (full-time vs. part-time).
Extension of CPT authorization
If you qualify for an extension of your CPT work authorization, to extend your CPT you will need complete a new CPT Request Form and upload the new documents.
You must receive the new I-20 with extended CPT dates before the CPT extension begins. The processing time for an extension of CPT authorization 2 business weeks if all documents are complete and correct.
Section 3: CPT Statement of Understanding
I certify the CPT dates and hours above are correct. I understand that any changes to the above CPT request will require a new form and CPT authorization must be given by the DSO on an updated I-20 before I can begin working.