Curricular Practical Training

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

CPT is either a paid or unpaid temporary employment for international students. It allows F-1 students to work off campus. The employment relate directly to the student’s major area of study. The employment can be, for example, an internship or a research project. Mainly, CPT needs to be part of an established curriculum.

CPT Application Procedures

Offer of Employment

Students should have a job offer.

Letter of Employment

A student cannot start working until they submit a letter of employment to the International Program Office. This letter should state whether the business is offering the student part-time or full time employment. The company offering employment should also submit a list of the CPT duties and responsibilities.


Students who OTC approves to participate in CPT can work either full-time (more than 20 hours a week) or part-time (less than 20 hours a week). The International Program Office at OTC will contact the department to make sure that CPT is part of the student’s degree program. They will also discuss the student’s eligibility and academic needs.

Course Requirement

Students enroll in a course that requires employment, such as an internship. The students must take the course for academic credit. After completing all degree requirements, students are no longer eligible for CPT. They should instead consider Optional Practical Training. CPT should not interrupt or delay completion of studies or degree program.

Maintaining Status

OTC requires students to maintain full-time status as F-1 visas holders. In addition, students are only eligible for CPT after enrolling as full time students for at least one academic year.

CPT Application Procedures

Step 1

The student must first secure a job or position.

Step 2

The course instructor or academic advisor completes a recommendation form. Please submit the form below.

Step 3

The student then submits a letter of employment from the employer stating the job duties, the organization’s address and beginning and end dates of the employment.

Step 4

The International Program Office will process your CPT application and contact you to pick up a new I-20 with the CPT’s authorization.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Using full-time CPT (more than 20 hours a week) for a period of 12 months or more disqualifies a student from engaging in Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • Part-time CPT (20 hours or less a week) does not affect a student from engaging in OPT.
  • OTC only permits CPT if the program of study requires the internship.
  • Students cannot work on campus if OTC approves them for full-time CPT.
  • Students must maintain undergraduate full-time enrollment with a minimum of 12 credit hours.
  • Students who OTC authorizes to work can only work at the employer’s organization and within the period specified on the third page of the I-20.