Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is for F-1 visa holders only. You may not begin your internship opportunity until you have your I-20 with your CPT work authorization on page 2 of your I-20.

Employment through CPT is permitted before the completion of your degree.

CPT authorization is employer- and job- specific, and must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” The work must carry academic credit, and applies to both paid and unpaid internships. You can do this by registering for the IDPT 410 internship credit through the registrar.

CPT may be used part time (20 hrs per week) while school is in session, or full time during break. The regulations defining CPT are very narrow, and an appointment with ISS is required.


You are eligible if:

  • You have been in “good standing” (including full-time enrollment) for the past 9 months (you are not eligible for CPT during your first year of study)
  • The CPT you are requesting is short-term employment and is “an integral part of an established curriculum”.

Process for CPT Authorization

Make an appointment with ISS before you apply for any internship positions! Read the CPT Overview  (.pdf) for additional information about securing CPT authorization.

CPT requires approval by a DSO. Approval by the DSO and DHS must be completed prior to the start of employment.

No Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued under CPT. Approval is documented in SEVIS and confirmed through a new I-20.

APEX Fellowship & CPT

APEX Fellowships help to assist with funding an unpaid internship experience. Contact APEX for more information about their application process.

Material on this website is general and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or replace professional legal advice, and you should not rely on it solely when making decisions about your immigration status or reporting requirements.