Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined by federal regulations as an “integral part of an established curriculum” related to your program of study. This type of work authorization, granted to students pre-graduation, can take the form of an internship, practicum, clinicals, or student teaching. For graduate students, thesis and dissertation courses taken for course credit can constitute CPT.
To learn more about CPT, including how to apply, please click on the topics below.
- Types of CPT
- Part-Time CPT (Employment for 20 hours or less per week while being enrolled full-time in classes):
There is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT, but you must enroll for a full-time course load during your CPT in order to maintain lawful F1 status.
Full-Time CPT (Employment for more than 20 hours per week):
While engaging in full-time CPT, you need not enroll for a full-time course load in order to maintain lawful F1 status. There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in full-time CPT, however, if you participate for twelve months or more you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Note: CPT work permission is only granted for one semester at a time and for either part-time or full-time. You must repeat this process each semester you plan to work or if you plan to change from part-time to full-time or from full-time to part-time.
- You must have been "lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year" to be eligible for CPT. The only exception to this rule is for those enrolled in a graduate program that requires its students to engage in training prior to the completion of one full academic year. Graduate students whose degree programs require immediate participation in CPT may apply at any time.
The employment (internship, practicum, etc.) must be an integral part of your degree program.
- Rules and Regulations
- Once the requirements for your program of study have been completed, all CPT must cease. You cannot participate in CPT after completion of your studies. In addition, you must be careful not to continue employment beyond the date authorized on your l-20, unless you apply for and are granted an extension of your permission to work.
You may only engage in CPT for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.
- How to Apply
- Step 1: Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor or SHSU Career Services to discuss internship options for your program. Once your internship and employer have been approved by your academic advisor, ask him/her to complete the CPT Certification Form (see below).
- Job title and description
- Number of hours to be worked each week
- Beginning and end dates of employment
- Current form I-20
- Employer letter
- Your passport and I-94 (Get your more recent I-94 HERE)
- Reduced Course Load form- only if requesting full-time CPT or in final semester
Step 2: Obtain a job offer letter from the employer that includes the following information:
Step 3: Submit the CPT Certification Form [hyperlink link to CPT form] to the Office of International Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure that your advisor has completed their section. In addition to the CPT Certification Form, you also need to submit the following documents:
Step 4: Your international student advisor/DSO will process your CPT request, log your CPT authorization in SEVIS, and print a new I-20 for you. Then, you can begin your internship.
YOU CANNOT LAWFULLY START EMPLOYMENT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE A NEW I-20 AUTHORIZING THE CPT.