Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”  Curricular Practical Training must be an academic requirement as listed in the TAMU-CC catalog. This means your academic program mandates the practical training is mandatory for all students in order to graduate.

Requirements for CPT:

  • Have a job offer which meets academic requirements
  • Maintain full-time enrollment during fall and winter
  • Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year unless your academic program requires immediate participation for all students.
  • Continue to pursue a required coursework while on CPT. CPT will not be granted to students who have finished the program coursework requirements, and merely delay graduation to make use of CPT.
  • Not be enrolled in an intensive English language training program.
  • Enroll in a CPT course which is normally named as Internship. Be aware that adding a CPT course may have an impact on your tuition and fees, and failure to complete the CPT course will result in your falling out of legal F-1 status.

When to apply for CPT?

  • Because CPT must meet academic requirements and students will be receiving university credit and a grade for the internship, the international may not begin earlier than the first day of the semester and must end no later than the last day of the regular semester.  
  • CPT cannot be authorized after the academic add/drop period is over
  • Required CPT is available only prior to the completion of your degree program, and after one academic year.

How long does CPT last?

  • CPT is authorized on a semester basis. If you want to continue working on your CPT, you need to do the whole process over.

How many hours per week can I work?

  • During the normal university semesters, students may only work 20 hours or less per week. If CPT is approved during the official university breaks, students may work for 20 hours or more per week. Please be aware that 12 months or more of full-time CPT will eliminate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Planning for CPT authorization

  1. Meet your academic advisor to discuss what type of CPT and when you should take CPT to fit your degree plan.
  2. Meet with OIE advisor to make sure your status and requirements
  3. Secure an internship offer
  4. Meet your academic advisor or program coordinator to get them to signed in your Employment Letter, and CPT Application Form.
  5. Register your internship course
  6. Meet OIE advisor to submit the following documents
  • Completed CPT Application Form
  • Employment letter which specifies employer contact information, employment job title, start & end dates, salary, number of hours working per week, job description.
  • Proof of internship credit or requirement
  • Passport & Visa
  • I-94
  • I-20
  1. Return to OIE to pick up your CPT authorization I-20 in 5-10 business days