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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows eligible F-1 students to participate in training that is an “integral part of an established curriculum”.

Students must have been on F-1 status, lawfully enrolled on full time basis at the university, for at least one full academic year before being eligible for CPT.

CPT is only available to students who are in status before and after completion of all degree requirements. Once the degree is completed, all CPT must cease.

Students entering the United States under a new SEVIS ID# must wait to complete one full academic year as a full time student before being eligible for CPT.


CPT is available only to fulfill a required internship or practicum for completion of the major field of studies; therefore, part of a course taken for credit.

Students may only engage in CPT for the specific employer and location that will be recorded on page 3 of the I-20. Student may only work for the specific period noted on page 3 of the I-20. Periods are granted for one semester at a time.

Part time CPT (less than 20 hrs/week) can be approved when student is enrolled in a full time status during a semester. Full-time CPT (more than 20/hrs week) can be approved only if the student is enrolled in at least three hours (3 hrs) credit internship class.

When the student engages in full-time CPT for 12 months or more, the student will no longer be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). There is not limit for part-time CPT a student can participate in. It has no impact on future OPT.

Applicant may not work more than 20 hours per week during the school year and not more than 40 hours per week during vacations.

The applicant needs to find a job directly related to the major field of studies and the professor for the course and the academic advisor need to approve it as such.

Student must be registered in the specific class before applying for CPT.

The employer must provide a job offer letter specifying the job title and responsibilities on company letterhead. The letter should also state the start date and ending date to complete the specific required number of hours (matching the university catalog and class syllabus requirements)

Applicant can only begin employment after receiving a new I-20 with international student advisor endorsement on page 3. This endorsement shows job beginning and ending dates, name and location of employment, and approval for ether full-time or part-time status. DO NOT START WORKING UNTIL YOU ARE AUTHORIZED.

** Only graduate students whose program requires beginning an internship earlier would be exempt from the one full academic year requirement.

What Do I Need to Apply?

  • Completed CPT Application (Come to office for form)
  • Most recent I-20
  • Letter from academic adviser stating the need for internship
  • Photocopy of requirement from SAU Catalog
  • Photocopy of requirement from class syllabus
  • Exact number of hours requested by the class (from both catalog and class syllabus)
  • Job offer from employer stating exact number of hours offered (matching class requirements) 

What Do I Do After Getting the Paperwork Done?

Please call 423.236.2808 to arrange an appointment to see Kent Robertson.

Have all the needed documents with you when you go to see Kent Robertson.