What is CPT?

Curricular practical training. “An F–1 student may be authorized by the DSO [Designated School Official] to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I–20 with the DSO endorsement.” [SEVIS Regulation 8 C.F.R. ¶ 214.2 (f) (10) (i)]

CPT Requirements

The following list explains what CPT is, and if you qualify for it. If you have any specific questions, please see the Center for Global Education.


Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at John Carroll University for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Exception exists for graduate students whose programs require immediate CPT. CPT is only available to students in F-1 status, before completion of the education objective.


Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded by the Designated School Official (DSO) in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS).


May be granted by DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. No cumulative maximum, except that it can only be approved before completion of the academic objective.

Hours per week

Can be approved for part time (20 hours or less) or full time (over 20 hours), e.g. part time during the academic year and full time during summer recess.

Field/level of work

Must be an integral part of an established curriculum of the academic major area of study. This means that the off-campus employment must be an established and written requirement for graduation or it is an integral part of the establish curriculum AND done for academic credit.

Offer of employment

Must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPT.

You will need to present a letter from the employer to the Center for Global Education which indicates:

  • number of hours per week OR if the job is full time or part time
  • employer/company address with zip code
  • start date of employment (must be a date in the future)
  • end date of employment

If any of these details change, you will need to receive a new CPT authorization.

Effect on OPT

Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Use of part-time CPT does not affect reliability for OPT.

Approval process

To gain approval from a DSO, you should schedule an appointment with the Center for Global Education and bring the following documents:

  • Offer letter from the employer that indicates the following: number of hours per week OR if the job is full time/part time; employer/company full address; start and end date of employment
  • Authorization form letter from academic advisor (form available from Center of Global Education)

***SEVIS authorization MUST be entered by a DSO before work begins.***


Students must continue to maintain a full course of study in F-1 status during the period of employment.