An eligible student may be authorized to participate in a curricular practical training program that is a required academic component of an established curriculum and directly related to the student's major area of study. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. CPT is not supplemental training experience and cannot be used interchangeably in the place of Optional Practical Training (OPT).

A student's CPT must fulfill a curricular component. It is up to the academic department to determine if a position qualifies for academic credit and therefore eligible for CPT. If the position does not qualify, then the student may instead consider Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (pre-OPT), which does not have the same academic requirements as CPT. OPT positions must still be in the student’s field of study. OPT is recommended by the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) and is authorized by USCIS.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security could at any point request that the student or the UMass Lowell faculty advisor verify how the curricular component of CPT is/was fulfilled.

The following links will help you evaluate a student's CPT eligibility.