Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization for International students in F-1 Student visa status. CPT allows students to take up a required off-campus training/internship directly related to their major for a specific period of time.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization for International students in F-1 Student visa status. CPT allows F-1 students to take up an off-campus training/internship which is integral part of students’ major for a specific period of time.
Integral part of study
The internship must meet ONE of the following condition:
|Degree requirement||Course requirement|
|Your major requires completion of an internship or work experience to meet graduation requirements.||You are enrolled in an internship, fieldwork, or practicum course that requires an internship or work experience in order to earn a grade. However, CPT will not be granted for Independent Study and Special Study courses.|
CPT authorization period
CPT will only be authorized during the semester/session below:
|Semester that you must enroll in an internship class||CPT must start on or after||CPT must end by|
|Spring 2019||January 28, 2019||June 3, 2019|
Types of CPT
There are two types of CPT: part-time and full-Time. Part-time CPT authorization will allow you to work 20 hours or less per week, and full-time CPT authorization will allow you to work for more than 20 hours per week.
You must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply for CPT:
Be in valid F-1 status.
Fulfilled one year full-time requirement. You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year prior to submitting an CPT application. One year enrollment may be fulfilled at SF State, a previous university, or between multiple universities.
- Enrolled full-time (including the internship class) in the semester you wish to pursue internship. Waitlisted classes will not be counted towards full time requirement.
- Enroll in an internship, fieldwork, practicum, cooperative education or other course specifically designed for experiential or practical learning and listed in the SF State Bulletin as such.
To find out if your major has internship requirements and internship class, speak to an academic advisor in your major department.
What kind of employment are not qualified for CPT?
Full-time job or long term employment and Self-employed positions/entrepreneurs
I am not receiving any compensation, do I still need to apply for CPT authorization?
Compensation is not a consideration when determining whether an opportunity qualifies as CPT. Any off-campus internship positions, whether paid or unpaid, requires CPT authorization before you begin the employment. Under no conditions can you begin working – not even as a non-paid intern – before your CPT is approved.
Volunteering for a position which normally provides compensation is considered “employment” and is therefore not permitted without appropriate authorization.
Can I extend CPT?
I am a graduate student currently working on thesis, am I eligible for CPT?
Can I apply for CPT if I only plan to take one internship class in my graduating semester?
Will I lose my OPT if I received too many CPT?
Can I have multiple internships in the same semester?
Can I change my internship employer during CPT?
Step 1: Understand CPT and how it works
All applicants are required to review this CPT online information workshop (PDF) to complete the necessary forms and put together the application.
Step 2: Prepare and submit CPT materials to OIP
Submit your completed application to OIP for an I-20 with CPT authorization.
Step 3: Pick up your I-20
An F-1 International Student Advisor will review your application materials and grant you CPT if you are eligible. A new I-20 will be issued and your CPT authorization will be printed on the 2nd page. Pick up your new I-20 at the OIP front desk once we contact you (within 5 business days, excluding weekends and holidays). Do not start working before receiving the new I-20 with CPT authorization.
The I-20 with CPT authorization printed on the 2nd page is your official work authorization. You will not receive any other documents or employment authorization card from USCIS.
You will be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) at any Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Please note SSA will not process your SSN application if it is more than 30 days in advance of the CPT start date.