Curricular Practical Training (CPT) FAQs
What is CPT?
Practical training that is:
- Related to your major (not your minor)
- An academic component of your degree program
How do I know if I’m eligible for CPT?
- To be eligible for CPT, you must:
- Be an F-1 student in good academic standing
- Complete one full academic year (both fall and spring) of full-time course student
- Complete Central’s CPT application
- Be registered for a credit-bearing course which is connected to your CPT by the end of the add/drop deadline for the semester in which you are completing CPT
When can I use CPT?
- During the fall, spring or summer semesters
Are there any time restrictions for full-time CPT?
- Your CPT work experience may extend beyond the last day of the semester, but must end the day before the next semester begins. Summer begins the first summer session in May.
- Under no circumstances can CPT extend beyond the program completion date listed on the I-20.
- If a student engages in full time CPT for 12 months or more, the student becomes ineligible for post-completion OPT. Part-time CPT (20 hours or less) does not affect eligibility for post-completion OPT.
Are there any time restrictions for part-time CPT?
- CPT may extend beyond the semester, but must end the day before the next semester begins. Summer begins the first summer session in May.
- Under no circumstances can CPT extend beyond the program completion date.
- CPT can only be granted for one semester at a time: fall, spring, or summer
Can I participate in CPT for more than one semester?
- Yes, but if you complete 365 days of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for post-completion OPT at the same degree level
Can I request part-time CPT for work off campus and still work on campus?
- Yes, students are eligible to work up to 20 hours each week on campus and up to 20 hours each week off campus through CPT. Keep in mind, however, that you must still be enrolled in a full-time academic schedule, so working more than 20 hours per week may not be advisable.
Can I change employers during my CPT?
- Yes, but the new employment must meet the eligibility requirements for CPT and you must fill out a new CPT application.
Do I need to register for other courses during my CPT?
- You need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits for the semester, including the course in which your CPT is required (i.e. internship or practicum)
What are the requirements for course that is related to my CPT?
- The course must be:
- Specifically related to your declared major
- For credit
- During the same semester in which the CPT experience takes place
What are some sample courses acceptable for the CPT authorization?
- Internship course
- Cooperative education course
- Independent study
What if I drop the course on which my CPT is based?
- If you drop or withdraw from the course on which your curricular practical training is based, you will be considered in violation of your F-1 status, your CPT will be cancelled, and you must file for reinstatement with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- If dropping the course puts you below 12 credits, you will be considered in violation of your F-1 status and your record will be terminated in SEVIS.
When should I submit my CPT application?
- After completing the required paperwork to enroll in course connected to your CPT
- Paperwork must be submitted one week prior to the start of the semester for the fall and spring semesters and by the last day of the spring semester for the summer.
What must I submit for this request?
- The Central College CPT Application form
- Completed internship, practicum, or independent study form
- Job offer letter on official company letterhead containing an original signature that is mailed directly to our office and includes:
- Name and address (street, city, state, zip code) of the institution or company which hired you
- Name and address (street, city, state, zip code) of the institution or company where the CPT will take place, if different than the company which hired you
- Position offered including a brief description of the experience
- Specific employment start (month/day/year) and end dates (month/day/year)
- Number of hours of CPT activity each week
Do I have to register for my CPT course before I submit my CPT request?
- Because internships, practicum, independent studies have specific registration forms, you must complete the registration paperwork and attach it to your CPT application. The registrar’s office will then register you for the course once your CPT experience is approved.
If the course on which my CPT is based puts me over 18 credits, do I have to pay the overload fee?
- Yes. General registration rules still apply so you must pay an additional fee for each credit over 18 for non-exempt courses (see the College Catalog for a complete list of overload exempt courses)
When can I begin my CPT experience?
- After you receive your new I-20 with the CPT authorization and the start date is current
How will I know if this request has been approved and my new I-20 is ready?
- You will receive an email to your Central email account
Do I need to update my address if I will be living at a new address during my CPT?
- Yes, the F-1 immigration regulations require you to report your local, U.S. address within 10 days of moving to a new address.