Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training Employment Authorization Procedure and Application

Regulations state that curricular practical training must be "an integral part of an established curriculum" and directly related to the student's major area of study." They define curricular practical training 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."

Students wishing to apply for CPT are required to complete the Curricular Practical Training application.  Curricular Practical Training is granted directly by the DSO through an update to a student's SEVIS record and by reissuing a Form I-20 annotated on page 3 with the grant of CPT.

Before granting CPT, a DSO must find the student eligible for that benefit, by determining that:

  • The student is currently in valid F-1 status
  • The student has been enrolled on a full-time basis for the amount of time required by the regulations
  • The student will continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the CPT
  • The training is "an integral part of an established curriculum"

CPT Quick -Reference


Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate curricular training. Available only while student is in F-1 status, before completion of the educational objective. Students in English language training programs are ineligible for CPT.


Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS.


Depends on the specific period granted by the DSO. May be granted by DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. No cumulative maximum, except that it can only be approved before completion of the academic objective.

Hours per week

Can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours).

Field / level of work

Must be an integral part of an established curriculum, in the student's course of study.

Offer of employment

Must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.

Effect on other work Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training. Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for Optional Practical Training
Approval Process Must receive written authorization from DSO, who records authorization in SEVIS and issues SEVIS I-20 with notation, before work begins. USCIS approval is not required.

Must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment.

Note: F-1 students approved for CPT must provide the original SEVIS form I-20 to Social Security Administration indicating their authorized CPT status to apply for a SSN.

Additional Information may be located on USCIS website at: