F-1 Student: Curricular Practical Training

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training is a type of work authorization which enables F-1 international students to engage in off-campus employment that is an integral part of their established curriculum. According to SEVIS regulations (8 CFR 214.2 (f)(10)(i)), Curricular Practical Training is defined to be “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum”.

CPT authorization is required for any paid or unpaid off-campus employment or internship experience. CPT authorization is specific to the employer and must be requested for each employer and each new academic term. Students may begin CPT employment only after receiving an endorsed Form I-20 with CPT authorization.

Students should be aware that 12 months of full time CPT (20 or more hours per week) makes you ineligible for Optional Practical Training.

Employment Permitted with CPT Authorization

CPT authorization grants current students with F-1 status the opportunity to gain professional experience directly related to their major area of study.

  • CPT employment must be related to student’s major area of study
  • CPT employment can be paid or unpaid
  • CPT employment must occur within the dates requested and granted by the DSO and reflected on Form I-20
  • CPT employment must be less than 20 hours per week while classes are in session (limited exceptions for graduate students or students engaged in special programs that require an internship)

Eligibility to Apply for CPT

Students are eligible to apply for CPT if the following are true:

  • The student has maintained F-1 status for one academic year at their current institution and is in good academic standing
  • The student has received an offer of employment directly related to their major field of study

Please note that eligibility requirements and application processes may vary by college. For additional information about regulations regarding CPT and specific steps to take for CPT authorization, please contact your International Student Advisor or I-Place.

CPT Resources by College

CMC students – CMC CPT Request Form 2021
CGU students – CGU Current International Students page.
HMC students – HMC Curricular Practical Training request form
Pitzer students –  Pitzer College Curricular Practical Training