Curricular Practical Training
- What is CPT
- Types of CPT
- Who is Eligible
- When Can I Begin My Employment/Internship
- Application Instructions
- Changing Employers on CPT
- Effects on OPT Eligibility
Curricular practical training (CPT) is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or another type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." [8 CFR214.2(f)(10)(i)]. CPT is employment/internship which is an integral part of an established curriculum. According to SEVP(Student and Exchange Visitor Program), "integral part of an establish curriculum means an opportunity must be required by the curriculum or, if not required, the student must receive credit for the training."
CPT may be authorized when the employment/internship is required by every student in the degree program, and is an invariable, formal and explicit requirement for students obtaining that degree at UCSC. Graduate students may apply immediately after registering at UCSC.
This type of CPT can be full-time or part-time depending on the academic department’s requirement. CPT dates are not limited to term dates.
CPT may be authorized for students who enroll in an independent study/research course where they will receive class credit for the proposed internship/employment, and/or the employment/internship is integral to their doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis research.
Course Enrollment Requirement- Students must enroll in field study or research course (ie: Course #297 Independent study or Research for engineering students).
This type of CPT is authorized on a quarterly basis. CPT is restricted to the official UCSC term dates, and students must apply each term. If a student wishes to work for a period longer than the last day of the term, s/he must enroll in the next available term before authorization can be extended beyond the current term.
Below are detailed descriptions of this type of CPT in the regular school terms: Fall, Winter and Spring, and during the Summer:
Employment/internship is limited to part-time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic term. However, if you are a graduate student who has advanced to candidacy, you may be eligible for full-time CPT as long as the employment/internship is integral to your doctoral dissertation, or thesis research as stated such in the Academic Department Recommendation section of the CPT request form.
Full-time CPT can be authorized for all continuing students in the summer. If summer is the first or last term of a student’s degree program, CPT is limited to part-time, unless you are a graduate student who has advanced to candidacy and the employment/internship is integral to your doctoral dissertation, or thesis research as stated such in the Academic Department Recommendation section of the CPT request form. You must enroll in an independent/ field studies course in the summer to be eligible for summer CPT. Please be mindful of the deadlines to enroll in the Independent /Field Studies course in the summer. Undergraduate students please refer to the Summer Session website at http://summer.ucsc.edu/ifu. Graduate students please check in with your department.
To obtain CPT, you must:
1) Be in valid F-1 status for a full academic year (9 months). Only Exception: F-1 students who must work/intern as a requirement for their degree program.
2) Be registered for classes at UCSC. CPT cannot be used when a graduate student is in filing fee status. Students are not eligible to apply for CPT after the completion of their degree.
3) Secure a job/internship that is a required, or integral part of your degree program.
You can only begin your employment/internship AFTER you have received CPT authorization from ISSS. CPT authorization cannot be post-dated. Your employment/internship is limited to your CPT authorization dates.
1) Review the CPT Information & Guidelines document in the Curricular Practical Training forms section from ISSS.
2) Obtain an Employment Offer Letter including the following information:
- First and Last name of Student
- Employer’s name and address
- Job Title
- Specific Job duties
- Exact dates (beginning and ending) of the employment/internship period
- Anticipated working hours per week
3) Enroll in an appropriate course (field study/research course) for CPT, if your CPT is based on the awarding of course credit.
4) Complete a CPT Request Form in the Curricular Practical Training forms section and obtain the required signatures.
5) Meet with an International Student Advisor and submit the employment offer letter & completed CPT Request Form to ISSS.
6) Pick up your I-20 with CPT authorization after 5 working days in the ISSS front office.
CPT is employer specific. You must apply for CPT authorization for each separate employer.
F-1 students who engage in an aggregate of 12 months or more of full-time CPT become ineligible for OPT.