Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is Curricular Practical Training – CPT

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary work authorization granted to students whose training is “an integral part of an established curriculum and directly related to the student’s major area of study ” [Federal Regulation 8CFR 214.2(f)(10)], such as an internship requirement. Complex rules apply to CPT since this authorization must comply with federal regulations and the university policies in terms of practicums and internship requirements.


  • You must have been in lawful nonimmigrant status and enrolled full-time for one academic year (unless there is a graduate degree training requirement during the first year of enrollment)
  • You must currently be in F-1 status.
  • The training program must be a requirement and an integral part of your degree program and is reflected as a credit-bearing course.
  • The CPT authorization period is limited to the dates of the semester in which the student is taking the course related to the internship component.
  • Full-time or part-time  CPT eligibility will be determined based on the course requirements.
  • While the student could be eligible for more than one CPT authorization depending on their program, a student may not exceed a period of 12 months of CPT or will not be eligible for OPT.

Application Procedures

There are two different ways to obtain CPT authorization, which are based on your education level

CPT: Required Internship Class for Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate students who are going to do the required internship must complete their professional internship information through Handshake with the Center for Career Services. ISSS will automatically have CPT added to their I-20 once their internship has been approved by the internship liaison, the associate dean,  the internship site supervisor, and they have been registered for their internship course in MU plan.  Students will be issued a new I-20 with their internship information listed on it.  Students must have an I-20 issued to them before they start their internship.

CPT: Required Internship or Practicum for Graduate Programs

Graduate students must first be familiar with their degree plan and meet with their advisor to identify any required internship course required in their specific program of studies. Then determine when the student will be eligible to register for that course throughout their degree so that they can start planning the search for the internship.

Step 1

Once you secure the internship, obtain a letter from the employer, on company letterhead, including the following information:

  • Job title and a brief description of duties to be performed
  • Dates of employment (beginning date [mm/dd/yy] to end date [mm/dd/yy]). The dates of employment should be within the course registration dates.
  • Number of work hours per week (up to 20 unless specified by an academic advisor that additional hours are needed to fulfill academic requirements)

Step 2

Take the job offer to your Academic Advisor to determine how this opportunity relates to your course of study and how it fits into the framework of your assignments (data collection, thesis research, etc.).

Step 3

Ask your Academic Advisor to complete the Academic Advisor Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Recommendation Form

Step 4

Upload your documents to the ISSS Portal for CPT request. An International Student Advisor at ISSS will review your request. If your request for CPT is approved, the ISS advisor will update the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and generate a new I-20 indicating approval for this employment. You will be notified of the approval and we will mail your original I-20. Students must have an I-20 issued to them before they start their internship.