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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorizes an F-1 student to engage in an on- or off-campus internship that is integral to or required for the academic program. CPT authorizations are issued by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and specify the employer, site of activity, and start and end dates authorized during the internship.

Every quarter, ISSS offers workshops to explain eligibility for Curricular Practical Training and the application process. Please visit the Events page for dates and times.

Eligibility for CPT

In general, you must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for CPT:

  • You are currently in valid F-1 status.
  • You are in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.0 or above for undergraduate students, and 3.0 or above for graduate students.
  • You have been enrolled for at least one academic year prior to the internship start date.*
  • You have enrolled in an internship or independent study course for which you will receive credit by completing the internship.
  • The internship is either required by your academic program, or is an integral part of it.

* A CPT authorization may be issued to graduate students prior to meeting the enrollment requirement if the internship is a required part of the academic program.

Application Process

To apply for a CPT authorization, submit the following documents to ISSS at least one week before your anticipated employment start date:

Duration of Authorization

CPT may only be authorized prior to the completion of your academic program. CPT authorizations are give for one term at a time, but multiple authorizations may be given without limit throughout your program. Students who have been authorized for 12 months of full-time CPT or more are no longer eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for the same degree level.

Maximum Hours per Week

Your CPT authorization will indicate whether you are eligible for part-time or full-time employment. If you have been authorized for part-time employment, you may not work more than 20 hours per week. You should speak to your supervisor about the number of hours you will be expected to work each week to ensure you do not exceed the maximum limit. You may be authorized to work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year with a recommendation from your department chair.

Part-Time Authorization (Up to 20 hours per week)

You may only work part-time during the regular academic year or when you are required to be fully enrolled. If summer quarter is your final term of study, you may only be authorized for part-time CPT since summer would not be considered a vacation term in this situation.

Full-Time Authorization (More than 20 hours per week)

You may work full-time during the annual vacation term and university breaks. Authorizations to work during the vacation term or university breaks begin after the final exam period of the previous quarter and end the day before the first day of classes of the next quarter. If you have completed all required coursework for your program and are only engaged in thesis or dissertation work, you may be authorized to work full-time until you complete your program.