Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at an DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Available only while student is in F-1 status, before completion of the educational objective.
Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved by CWEE (Cooperative Work Experience Education) program and the ISP office and recorded in SEVIS.
Depends on the specific period granted by the ISP office. May be granted by the ISP office 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
Determine the Number of Units you can enroll in
Example: You work approximately 10 hours per week x 17 weeks = 170 hours. Therefore, you can register for 2 units.
If you have a paid job, how many units should you sign up for?
If you have a nonpaid job, how many units should you sign up for?
*See Enrollment Units section in CWEE website.
Field/level of work
Must be an integral part of an established curriculum in the student's course of study.
*See internships section in CWEE website to learn what kind of internships are available in each major field.
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
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, but some exceptions may exist for some CPT.
Definition of Curricular Practical Training
The regulations state that curricular practical training must be "an integral part of an established curriculum." 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."
Limits on the use of CPT
There is not specified limit on either the number of times or the length of time a student may engage in either part- or full-time curricular practical training. This will be governed by the nature of the training and the requirements of the student's program.
Effect of use of CPT impact eligibility for OPT
F-1 students who engage in an aggregate of 12 months or more of full-time curricular practical training become ineligible for optional practical training.
Procedures for applying for Curricular Practical Training
- Find an employer either through CWEE program or by yourself
- Register with CWEE for CWEE credits and pay tuition for the course (see How to Register for CWEE)
- Receive a new I-20 with an authorization for your internship BEFORE starting to work
*You can start working after you receive a new I-20. However, if it is a paid internship, be sure to apply for and receive a Social Security Number.
*CPT authorization is on the term-by-term basis. You have to terminate your internship by the end of the authorized term.
* Unpaid internship can be done without a prior permission from the ISP office or a Social Security Number.