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Curricular Practical Training FAQ

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus work experience in the F-1 student’s field of study, and one that must contain a curricular component. The purpose of CPT is to allow the student to gain practical experience in their field of study and to bring the learning that would otherwise take place in a traditional classroom setting to a physical, on-site workplace. Check out the CPT Video on the ISSO web Employment section.

When am I eligible to be considered for CPT?

After successful completion of one academic year of full-time study (fall/spring or spring/fall) in your respective degree level, 18 credits for graduate students/24 credits for undergraduate students completed (independent of required pre-requisite courses). Students must also be in good academic standing. Students on warning, probation or other negative academic standing may be denied CPT authorization by their academic advisor. Please note, bachelor's-to-master's students will not be eligible for masters-level CPT until they've completed 18 credits towards their graduate program AND have completed a full academic year in their graduate program after being issued a masters-level I-20.

Am I eligible for CPT while in the Navitas Pathway Program?

No.

Do I need a new Form I-20 before starting any off-campus employment, including CPT?

Always! Any time worked off-campus prior to the issuance of a new Form I-20 authorizing the job experience will be an automatic cause for termination.

Students who neglect to check their email or do not respond will potentially forfeit their opportunity to provide information related to the incident, and potentially their option to appeal the outcome, so it is important to encourage your student to always check their email, and to read the entirety of university communications.

What if the job is unpaid or is part of a required practicum, do I still need a new Form I-20?

Yes. All off-campus work, field work, practicum, internship, paid or unpaid job experience is only legally possible through the issuance of a new Form I-20. Failure to abide by this will cause automatic termination of your legal status.

Do I have to register for the CPT job experience?

Always.

How many credits do I have to register for CPT?

It varies, and depends on the type of CPT. Registration can range from 1-3 credits. This will be evaluated at the time you are considered for CPT authorization.

How do I find information about internships or co-op programs?

Check the Career & Co-Op Center website for information on upcoming career fairs, Career Cafes, Drop-In Resume Makeovers, etc. Also, check with your Undergraduate or Graduate Academic Advisor for co-op programs specific to your department.

May I work full-time on CPT during an academic semester?

Only if your department offers a full-time co-op option which would be available to all students in that academic program, as listed in the Course Catalog. Check with your Undergraduate or Graduate Academic Advisor to explore co-op opportunities within your program. All such programs have a selection process, with specific course sequencing and preparatory coursework.

May I work full-time on CPT during a summer session?

Yes, in most cases, only with the issuance of a CPT Form I-20, and never in your last summer session.

May I work on part-time CPT during a regular semester?

Yes, but not in your last semester, and only with the issuance of a CPT Form I-20.

Am I authorized to do either part-time or full-time CPT in my last semester?

No. However, you’ll be eligible to apply for Pre Completion OPT.

Other Job Search Tools

Career & Co-op Center
CPT Brainshark