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Curricular Practical Training

What is Curricular Practical Training?
Curricular practical training (CPT) authorization allows students to take part in paid or un-paid off-campus training (such as temporary employment, internship, practicum, field work, clinical) which is directly related to their major and required AND/OR for credit towards their degree program.  Upon approval of CPT, students will be issued a new I-20 form with a CPT authorization on page 2.

When am I required to have CPT authorization?

  • You are receiving credit towards your degree for the training.  Even if you are NOT getting paid, as long as you are receiving credit, you MUST have CPT approved. (Examples: unpaid internship that requires credit, teaching practicum, counseling internships, social work field work, or nursing clinical)
  •  You are receiving payment for the training AND the employment meets the CPT eligibility requirements below.  Students who are not eligible for CPT will need to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You must be an enrolled student and have completed at least one academic year as full-time student (unless the work is required for your degree in the first academic year)                    
  • The off-campus training must be directly related to your major(s) field of study.
  • The off-campus training must be either required for your degree program AND/OR for credit towards your degree program.   

Note: The credit cannot be “extra credit” above and beyond what is necessary for you to graduate. In most cases the training must take place during semester or summer in which you are enrolled in the class. You will need a new CPT I-20 for each semester or summer of CPT.

How much CPT is allowed?

  •  CPT can be part-time (less than 20 hours per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). You CANNOT work full-time work while you are taking classes, unless
    • The internship course is your only course (summer only) OR
    •  More than 20 hours of training per week is required for your degree OR
    • You are in the master’s thesis/doctoral dissertation phase of your degree
  • There is no limit on how long a student can participate in CPT; however, students who receive one year or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for Optional Practical Training.
  •  If you have an assistantship or work on campus it could impact the number of combined hours you can work concurrently with CPT. Check with the OISS for current regulations.

How do I appy?

  1. Complete the OISS CPT Application Form AND ask your Dean’s Office, Chair, Advisor or Practicum/Field Work office to complete part 2.
  2.  Together with your CPT application, submit a letter or email from your employer which states the starting and ending dates, number of hours per week, and a brief description of the responsibilities of your job.  (Not required by students in practicums/internships arranged by BC). The CPT application and employer letter/email must be submitted at the same time to the OISS in person or to
  3. A new I-20 will be created with your employer/internship site and an email will be sent to you when your I-20 is ready. You CANNOT start work until you have received your new I-20.  You must work within the authorized CPT dates on your I-20 form.
  4. If you have a paid internship you must present your new I-20 form to your new employer. You will also need a Social Security Number (SSN)if you do not already have one.  You will be eligible to apply up to 30 days prior to your CPT start date.  Students with unpaid internships are not required to have a SSN, but are eligible to apply