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Curricular Practical Training

What is Curricular Practical Training? 

Curricular practical training (CPT) is off-campus employment, directly related to your field of study. The purpose of curricular practical training is not to facilitate employment authorization.  Rather, it is to allow students to undertake training, which is an integral part of their established curriculum and instrumental to achieving an academic objective.  


Who is eligible?

You must be full-time, in good academic standing, and have completed at least one academic year as a student in order to be eligible to apply.  CPT must either be required for your degree (even if not for credit), or for which you are receiving academic credit.  If for credit, the course that you enroll in for the CPT must count toward your degree and cannot be extra credit, which is above and beyond what is necessary for you to graduate (i.e. no additional electives). The period for which you will receive the CPT employment authorization will directly correspond with the time that you are enrolled in the course. In other words, you are only allowed to work for the period in which you are enrolled for the class.


Examples of valid curricular practical training experiences include:   

1)      An MBA student who is taking an approved 3-credit Directed Research course with a sponsoring faculty member as an elective during the second year of his program;

2)      A Ph.D. student who must do research for her thesis which is only available at another university;

3)      A student in the GSSW who has a required practicum off campus as part of her program.

4)      An undergraduate in the Communications department who is eligible for a 3 credit internship class.

5)      An International Studies major who has a required internship for his/her major


How much curricular practical training is allowed?

Curricular practical training can be part-time (less than 20 hours per week) or full-time depending on the requirements of your program.  There is no limit on how long a student can participate in curricular practical training.  However, students who receive one year or more of full-time curricular practical training are ineligible for optional practical training.


How do I apply?

□   Complete an OISS Curricular Practical Training Application (formerly called the I-538).


□   Obtain a letter from your faculty advisor, which states that you are a full-time student in good academic standing, and which describes the conditions of the curricular practical training.  The letter must verify that the internship or employment is either required or for academic credit, and that is an established part of the curriculum for which there is a specific academic objective.  If for credit, the letter should also include the name of the course, the number of credits, and when the course will be taken;


□   Obtain a letter 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.



If approved, OISS will issue you a new I-20 form in SEVIS with the authorization for the practical training on page 3. No approval from the Immig