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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students to engage in off-campus employment (paid or unpaid) directly related to their field of study during their studies. Employment on CPT may include internships, practicums, or any other pre-approved work experience. CPT is available only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.

Important: A student must be authorized by the International Student Advisor and obtain the new I-20 with CPT Authorization on page two prior to beginning any employment/internship/training. Working without a CPT endorsed I-20 is a serious violation of your F-1 visa status and may result in the termination of your SEVIS record and forfeit your ability to remain in the US.

CPT Guidlines
 
  1. You must obtain a new I-20 with CPT authorization prior to the employment start date
  2. CPT is available only to students that have been enrolled full-time at UT in F-1 status for at least one academic year. Graduate students are exempt from this but only when early participation is mandated by the program (listed as a requirement in the course catalog)
  3. CPT must be an integral part of the established major curriculum. At UT, this means you need to earn course credit for your employment, or it must be a required part of your degree program (listed as required in the course catalog). 
  4. CPT must be directly related to a student's major field of study and must be appropriate to the degree level
  5. CPT can be used during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
  6. Students must reapply for each semester they wish to participate in CPT
  7. Student can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time. However, CPT authorization is needed for each employer and each time period
  8. Student must continue to maintain a full-time course load of study during the period of employment, if CPT participation occurs on regular semesters (fall and spring). Exception is only for the summer semesters
  9. During a student's final semester, students are only allowed to take a zero-credit internship if enrolled in another credit-bearing course
  10. If you have already completed all course requirements for your degree you are not eligible for CPT
  11. There is no limitation on the number or length of times you participate in CPT, but if you participate for twelve months or more of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for optional practical training (OPT)
  12. Be aware that adding a CPT course may have an impact on your tuition and fees
  13. Failure to remain enrolled in the CPT course will result in your falling out of legal F-1 status
  14. CPT authorization is only required when the training is inside the United States. For example, a summer internship in a student’s home country does not need CPT authorization

CPT Requirements
 
  • Offer letter: Student must have an offer of employment/training that qualifies as curricular practical training (CPT). Students must obtain an official offer letter from the employer that must:
    • Be addressed to you
    • Include your job title
    • Specify exact sates of employment/internship (start and end dates)
    • Specify the number of hours of work per week
    • Brief but detailed job description to show how the position is related to your field of study/major
    • Include the employer's address (street, city, state, zip code). If the position is remote, this must be stated in your offer letter and also include the company's physical location
  • Location: CPT internship is authorized for a specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded in SEVIS. A second internship with the same employer is only allowed if the second internship is under a new supervisor and entails different tasks. A third internship with the same employer is not allowed
  • Hours per week: Student may only work/internship a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session unless program requirements mandate otherwise (must obtain approval from the International Advisor/DSO). Exception is only for the summer semester 
  • Start and end dates: CPT internships may start up to two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. CPT Internships will end no later than the last day of the semester in which the internship occurs
 The CPT Presentation offers more information about CPT at UT.
Click for instructions for How to Access the online CPT Internship Application.

CPT Application Process
 
  1. Check eligibility with International Programs Office
  2. Receive offer letter for internship. You can search for internships on Handshake. Research opportunites related to your major here ut.edu/career/exploration/where and/or make an appointment with an Career Coach in the Career Services Office
  3. College of Business students only: attend a internship registration session with Dr. Dean Koutroumanis (see dates and times listed below). 
  4. Apply for credit approval with the Office of Career Services. You can schedule an appointment or attend an internship drop-in session
  5. Complete credit approval process (Career Services, Employer, Faculty)
  6. Complete CPT application online. You can apply for authorization for CPT employment authorization by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page. Under "F-1 Employment Requests" click "Curricular Practical Training (CPT)".
  7. As a part of the CPT application, you will send an electronic request to your Faculty Internship Coordinator to confirm the academic nature of work experience. Approval must be received before you will be able to submit your CPT request
  8. International Student Advisor processing
  9. Receive e-mail from IPO to pick up I-20 with CPT authorization
  10. Start employment only after receiving I-20 with CPT authorization and on or after the CPT start date listed on page two of your I-20
  11. Your new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT Authorization is your proof of work eligibility. Bring a copy to your employer’s HR office

CPT Deadlines

You can submit the online application form for CPT as soon as you are able to enroll in the internship course for the semester you are doing an internship, but no later than 2 business days before your internship start date. The deadlines to register for an internship course are below:
  • Spring 2020 Registration Deadline – Monday Feb. 10th at 5pm
  • Summer 2020 Registration Deadline – Thursday June 11th at 5pm

Employment Dates for CPT for Spring and Summer 2020

For CPT during Spring and summer 2020, the start and end dates of CPT must closely follow the academic calendar. CPT internships may start up to two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. CPT Internships will end no later than the last day of the semester in which the internship occurs

The allowable CPT employment dates for spring and summer 2020 are:
 
  • Spring - start no earlier than 01/07/2020, end no later than 05/08/2020
  • Summer - start no earlier than 05/12/2020, end no later than 08/15/2020
No exceptions can be made.

College of business students only:
Internship Registration Session Dates for Winter and Spring 2020, ICB 8th floor seminar room
 
Tuesday Nov 26th – 9:30am
Monday Dec 2nd – 10:00am
Tuesday Dec 10th – 9:30am  
Thursday Jan 23 – 9:00am
Monday Jan 27th – 10:00am
Thursday Feb 6th – 9:30am