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.
- CPT can only be authorized by an international student advisor from the OISSS 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 by OISSS 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.
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 from OISSS 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 OISSS
- 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 OISSS 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 from OISSS 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.