Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training work authorization allows F-1 students to gain practical work experience in their field of study prior to the completion of their academic programs. Per 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10), to be eligible for CPT, you must have been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for one full academic year and currently be in F-1 status. CPT is authorized by the OIS in accordance with 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i).

*Please Note*: Working off-campus without authorization from the OIS is never lawful for students in F-1 status.  You must have authorization from the OIS before you start working.

CPT employment must be an 'integral part of an established curriculum'. This is interpreted in three ways:

  1. All students in the program are required to participate in an off-campus experience in order to be granted the degree (i.e. clinical rotations, required internships, etc.)
  2. Optional experiences for which academic credit is granted (i.e., the program has an internship, externship, practicum or other course that is offered for credit to students in the program). Course enrollment must occur in the term when the employment is occuring.
  3. For Ph.D. students, off-campus employment is required to perform research that is directly related to the student's dissertation.

CPT authorization is granted on a semester-by-semester basis only.  If you wish to continue your employment beyond the semester for which you’ve been authorized, you must follow the entire application process again, including the appropriate course registration for the option that you choose.  Note: It is best to do this as soon as you register for the next semester so that our office will have the time to process your application.

CPT and its Effect on OPT

  • F-1 students can use an unlimited amount of part-time Curricular Practical Training and will still be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training following completion of studies.
  • If a student uses more than 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training, he or she will no longer be eligible for any Optional Practical Training. If you plan to do this, please make an appointment with an international student advisor at the OIS to discuss this in advance.