CPT Checklist

This Checklist is designed to take students through all the necessary steps prior to filing Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

  • If you believe you are eligible for CPT, request a recommendation for CPT form from the International Advisor at the International Office. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization directly related to an F-1 student’s academic program. It allows F-1 students to gain practical experience internship/off-campus training for a specific period of time through cooperative agreements with the school.

How am I eligible for CPT?

  • CPT can only be used during a student’s program of study.
  • The student must be in F-1 status at the time of application and have been in lawful F-1 status for one full academic year (two semesters not including summer) preceding the CPT application. EXCEPTION: Graduate students whose degree program requires immediate participation in an internship may apply at any time.
  • Be enrolled in full course of study. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for 12 credit hours and graduate students must be enrolled for 9 credit hours.
  • Students who have completed their program requirements and are merely delaying graduation to make use of CPT or working on their thesis are NOT eligible. They should apply for OPT or Thesis OPT.
  • CPT will not be granted for Independent Study and Special Study courses.
  • Students must have a job offer from the employer and the job must be directly related to the students major field of study.

CPT is categorized as follows:

  • Part-Time Training- Employment for 20 hours or less per week
  • Full-Time Training- Employment for more than 20 hours per week

Gather all the necessary immigration documents and supporting materials which must include:

  • An employment letter from the employer. The letter should be on a letterhead and should clearly state the job title (e.g. intern, trainee), the job description, the location of the job (i.e. city, state), the exact starting and ending dates, the number of hours per week, and any salary agreements. (If any detail is missing, CIE will not be able to grant CPT.)
  • The Advisor’s Curricular Practical Training Recommendation Form, completed and signed by your Academic Advisor/Major Professor/Department Chair/CO-OP Office Copies of any previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The CPT Authorization Request Form signed and completed.
  • Updated degree plan signed by your advisor that indicates the course of which you will obtain CPT credit.
  • A copy of your most recent I-20, I-94 (front & back), visa and information page of your passport. Please include a copy of the renewal page if appropriate.
  • When your CPT I-20 is ready, you will need to pick it from the advisor. You will need to show this to your employer as proof of your work authorization
  • Proof of full-time registration in the current semester.


Additional Information:

  • Employment Eligibility Verification
    • When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification" (USCIS Form I-9), which the employer retains. The I -9 must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.
  • Social Security and Other Taxes
    • In general, F-1 students who have been in the U.S. less than five years are exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes. Your earnings, however, are subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes. Students must file a tax return on or before April 15 each year, which will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be refunded.