Student Academic Services Logo 2014  Student Academic Services (SAS)

Visa Information

F1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations state that Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be directly related to the major and an integral part of an established curriculum.

CPT is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Thus CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, prior to completion of that program. CPT authorization must be granted before starting paid or unpaid off-campus employment. In some cases, volunteer experiences require CPT authorization. 

Questions or concerns regarding CPT may be referred to campus DSOs.



Application and Authorization

Follow these steps for CPT authorization

  1. Declare major (or second major).
    • See your current advisor or the Office of Academic Advising for help.
    • SEVIS regulations cite that practical training must be "directly related to the student's major area of study." (8 CFR § 214.2 f(9))
      • Note: Practical training may not be authorized in your minor area of study.
  2.  Find (off-campus) employment (i.e. paid/unpaid internship, employment)
  3. Find faculty advisor to supervise internship
  4. Apply and be approved for Internship Credit
  5. Complete CPT Authorization Form in SAS
    • access a digital copy here or pick up a paper copy in SAS
  6. Schedule appointment with DSO to obtain CPT authorization (and new I-20)
    • CPT is date- and employer-specific
    • On CPT you can only work for the named employer for the registered dates
  7. Apply for Social Security Number (SSN), if necessary
  8. Start employment (no sooner than start date listed for CPT on I-20)