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Curricular Practical Training

What Is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 student temporary work experience that is a required part of an established curriculum, this includes; alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i).

CPT must be authorized by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in accordance with the F-1 regulations.

Don’t begin employment without authorization!!!

Eligibility for CPT

To be eligible for CPT, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently in valid F-1 status at Eastern Kentucky University.
  • You have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year at EKU or at an SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program)-approved college or university in the U.S. An exception to the one full academic year requirement may be granted to graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT.
  • You must have offered employment that is directly related your major field of study.
  • You will continue to be enrolled full-time during the CPT.
  • You are in good academic standing. Minimum grade for undergraduates is 2.0 GPA; for Graduates is 3.0 GPA.

General Guidelines


  • CPT can only be authorized by an international student advisor from an EKU DSO/PDSO if you meet all the CPT eligibility requirements.
  • You cannot start employment before obtaining CPT authorization.
  • CPT authorization must be obtained for every co-op, internship, practicum, student teaching etc.
  • CPT can be either paid or unpaid, but must be authorized regardless of payment.
  • CPT is authorized one semester at a time (Fall, Spring or Summer).
  • A student must submit a new CPT request (including all required documents), for each semester of CPT.


  • CPT can be either full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (less than 20 hours per week) as determined by the academic department.
  • Participation in 12 months or more of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • Participation in CPT may begin on or after the first day of the semester, but must end by the last day of the semester.

Employer and Employment Information

  • CPT is authorized for a specific employer, location, number of hours and period of time. The employer’s name and address; and the exact start and end dates will be printed on page 2 of the Form I-20.
  • You are not allowed to work for an employer that is not listed on the I-20.
  • To work for two employers, you must obtain a separate authorization for each CPT employer. The new employer’s name, addressand employment dates must be printed on page 2 of the Form I-20.

Class Registration Requirement

  • You must register for appropriate CPT class during the same semester that you are doing your practical training.
  • Students approved to CPT in the Fall or Spring semester, must be enrolled full-time during that period.
  • Students pursuing CPT in the summer are only required to enroll in the internship course, but may choose to take additional classes if they wish.

Types of CPT at EKU

  • Degree Requirement: An internship is a graduation requirement for all students in the degree program. This means that everyone in the program must do an internship or they will not be able to graduate.
  • Dissertation Research: A graduate student is required to engage in off-campus work experience to complete research necessary for his or her dissertation.

Application Procedure

Students applying for F-1 Curricular Practical training (CPT) are encouraged to follow these steps when preparing their applications:

1. Determine your Eligibility for CPT.

To determine your eligibility, you must do the following:

  • Read all the information about CPT regulation and application procedure from this website and;
  • Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor to discuss your eligibility, go over CPT regulation and application procedure.

2. Meet your Academic Advisor or Co-op Coordinator

Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor and/or co-op/internship coordinator from the Center for Career and Co-op to discuss about your academic eligibility and interest in off-campus job opportunities. Afterwards, have your academic advisor fill out the Academic Adviser’s CPT Recommendation Form.

3. Get a Job Related to Your Major Field of Study

Find a job and obtain Employment Offer Letter for the CPT from the company. If you need assistance in finding a job, contact the Center for Career and Co-op to set up an appointment with one of the Co-op/Intern Career Counselors. The Employment Offer Letter must be printed on the company’s letterhead and include the following information:

  • The start date and end date of employment
  • The number of hours per week you will be working
  • The physical location (street address, city, state, and zip code, not P.O. Box) where the job will be conducted
  • The name and contact of your supervisor
  • Job title and description of job duties

4. Complete Required Forms

Please complete the following relevant documents for the CPT:

  • Complete page 1 of the CPT Request Form
  • Ask your academic advisor to complete page 2 of the CPT Request Form
  • Complete the Co-op/Internship Application (if internship is done through the Center for Career and Co-op)

5. Register for the appropriate course for the CPT/internship experience

6. Turn in the Following Documents to an EKU DSO/PDSO

  • CPT Request Form (page 1 and page 2)
  • Employment Offer Letter
  • Copies of I-20, passport, visa and I-94
  • Copy of Co-op Job Application Form (if internship is done through the Center for Career and Co-op)
  • Class Schedule as proof of enrollment

The international advisor will review your documents, verify your F-1 status and confirm whether or not you are eligible to participate in CPT. If the advisor determines that you are eligible, they will issue you a new I-20 with the CPT authorization which includes the employer’s name, address and the specific dates of employment printed on page 2. You will be notified by email to pick up your I-20.

Please Note: The I-20 is the official document authorizing the CPT. Therefore, you must have the CPT authorization I-20 prior to work experience.

7. Submit New I-20 to your Employer and Begin Employment

Please pick up your new I-20 and show it your employer. Your employer will make a copy of the I-20 and thereafter you can begin your employment. Remember, you can only work during the dates of employment authorized on the I-20.

Office of International Student and Scholar Services

521 Lancaster Avenue
Powell 013
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3446

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