Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

OGS is receiving a high volume of requests. The current processing time is 7 business days following submission of the complete CPT application.

Quick Information & Links

Basics: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 off-campus authorization for paid and unpaid positions directly related to the major field of study listed on Page 1 of the Form I-20. CPT can be used to authorize a variety of positions, including employment, internships, fellowships, practicums, etc.  

Context: U.S. federal regulations grant universities the authority to issue CPT for opportunities that are integral to the curriculum of a degree program. CPT is unique among U.S. work authorizations for foreign citizens because it does not require an application to USCIS. This makes CPT a natural target for scrutiny by immigration authorities. Perceived abuse of CPT could jeopardize access to future immigration benefits. 

Conditions: Unless required by the academic curriculum, CPT cannot be used during the first two semesters of F-1 study. F-1 Students may not exceed three CPT authorizations during a degree program. Withdrawal from an internship course voids CPT authorization, and students who fail an internship course must contact their IS Advisor immediately. A CPT eligible course cannot be the only course in the final term of study with limited exceptions (see the CPT Eligible Course list). Undergraduate students must have declared a major before becoming eligible for CPT. 

Procedures: Email your application to A new Form I-20 reflecting authorization will be issued 5 business days after the submission of a complete application.


  • Determine if your program* has off-campus experience as part of its curriculum: CPT Eligible Course List.
  • Complete the required Curricular Practical Training (CPT)** module and quiz in Canvas. A 100% score is required as proof of completion. Once you finish the quiz and have the results, click on Grades and then click the Print icon in the top right corner to download the Grade Report as a PDF.

*Note: Undergraduate students must declare their major in order to be eligible for CPT authorization.

**Note: OGS offers in-person workshops on these topics, but they do not satisfy the requirement of familiarizing oneself with an authorization prior to requesting it. These remain a useful forum to explore complex questions and scenarios.

The letter should be written on the organization’s letterhead and must include the following information:

  • position description and title
  • position start and end date*
  • number of hours per week**
  • supervisor’s name, title, and contact information
  • employment address (if not included on letterhead)
  • Sample Offer Letter (PDF)

*Credit-based CPT authorizations cannot begin before the first day of classes or end after the last day of exams (Academic Calendar).

**F-1 Students may not exceed 20 total hours per week of employment and training during required academic terms (combined on- and off-campus). This is a weekly maximum rather than an average.

Incomplete letters will delay authorization issuance.

Email the complete CPT application to (OGS does not accept in-person submissions). Allow 5 business days for processing. Do not begin any activities for the organization until you receive the authorization approval notice from OGS.

F-1 Students must be in the United States when OGS authorizes CPT.

OGS will issue a new Form I-20 reflecting CPT authorization on Page 2.

Questions about the CPT process? Eligibility? Limitations on CPT?
Or examples of employment scenarios that qualify for CPT?  

View the Frequently asked questions