Center for International Services & Programs

Curricular Practical Training

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) defines Curricular Practical Training as employment that is an integral or important part of your curriculum. For example, this may be an internship, a thesis, or required practicum.  You must receive academic credit for the work experience during the same semester that you are using CPT.

  • The DHS defines full-time employment as work more than 20 hours per week.
  • Registered full-time students may not exceed 20 hours of employment per week.
  • It is possible to work full-time if you are not registered as a full-time student. This should occur only in summer semester or near the end of your program of study.
  • Curricular Practical Training is not designed for permanent or long-term work opportunities.
  • The work period should be as close to the beginning and ending dates of the semester as possible
  • An “incomplete” grade does NOT allow you to continue to work or to work between semesters.
  • If a student uses 12 months of full time CPT, he/she will not be permitted to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Permission is granted and reported by the Designated School Official (DSO) to the DHS in SEVIS.

Basic eligibility

1.       You must be maintaining lawful F-1 status.

2.       You must have been a full time student for at least one academic year.

3.       You must meet good academic progression and academic standards under the University Guidelines.

4.       You must not have I’s or X’s on your current CSU transcript.

5.       The proposed employment must be an integral part of your studies

6.       You must have a job offer in writing from an employer