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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 or on-campus internships (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 Guidelines
  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). Currently the MS in Exercise and Nutrition Science is the only program for which this exemption applies.
  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. Students can have more than one employer in the same semester. Employments must be consecutive, not at the same time. However, CPT authorization is needed for each employer and each time period, so it needs to be requested separately and as part of the same registered class. All CPT requests need the approval of your Internship Coordinator.
  8. Students must continue to maintain a full-time course load of study during the period of employment if CPT participation occurs during regular semesters (fall and spring). The exception is only applicable for the summer terms.
  9. If you have already completed all course requirements for your degree you are not eligible for CPT. Any Internship class is not a criterium for delaying graduation and will be denied.
  10. There is no limitation on the number or length of times you participate in CPT, but if you accumulate twelve months or more of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for optional practical training (OPT).
  11. Be aware that adding a CPT course may have an impact on your tuition and fees.
  12. Failure to remain enrolled in the CPT course while continuing your employment will result in your falling out of legal F-1 status.
  13. 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 dates of employment/internship (start and end dates). The start date you request must be at least two business days in the future when you submit your completed CPT application to allow for I-20 processing time.
    • 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.
    • Include full name and contact information of your direct supervisor.
    • Click here for a Sample Internship Offer Letter for CPT.
  • Location: CPT internship is authorized for a specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded in the student's SEVIS immigration record. 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 terms.
  • 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 a CPT - Employers Guide To Hiring International Students.

CPT Application Process
  1. Check eligibility with International Programs Office. Students must have been on F-1 status for at least one academic year (fall and spring semester) to be eligible for CPT. (Change of Education Level students will be eligible after their first full-time semester in the new level)
  2. Receive offer letter for internship. You can search for internships on Handshake. Research opportunities related to your major. here ut.edu/career/exploration/where, use the Job Search Toolbox, and/or make an appointment with a Career Coach in the Career Services Office.
  3. College of Business students only: attend an 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 the online Curricular Practical Training (CPT) request via your ISSS Portal profile in the Request & Document Center.
  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 your work experience. Approval must be received before your DSO will be able to review your CPT request.
  8. International Student Advisor (DSO) will review and process your request between 2-5 business days after being approved by your Internship Coordinator.
  9. Receive e-mail notification from IPO to access your 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 2022 - Tuesday, February 4, 2022 at 5:00PM
  • Summer 2022 -Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 5:00PM
  • Fall 2022 - Friday, September 16th, 2022 at 5:00PM

Employment Dates for CPT
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.
CPT is not permitted during semesters intersessions.

The allowable CPT employment dates for the following semesters are:
 
  • Spring 2022 - start no earlier than January 4, 2022, end no later than May 6, 2022
  • Summer 2022 - start no earlier than May 9, 2022, end no later than August 13, 2022
  • Fall 2022 - start no earlier than August 15, 2022, end no later than December 15, 2022
No exceptions can be made.

College of Business Students Only
COB Internship Registration Session Dates for Summer 2022
  • Session is mandatory, no exceptions for COB students, unless you have attended a previous session. If you have previously attended a session, all you need to do is email your Internship Agreement Form to Dr. Koutroumanis at dkoutroumanis@ut.edu.
  • Individual session requests will not be approved.
  • Your internship will not be approved if you have not attended a session.
  • It is recommended that you attend a session even if you do not yet have an internship offer, but you are interested or in the process of applying for an internship.
  • For COB undergraduates students: you no longer need your department chair to sign off. Dr. Koutroumanis will sign off as both department chair and instructor.
All COB registration sessions held on ZOOM: 
Link: https://utampa.zoom.us/j/265750564
Meeting ID: 265 750 564‚Äč
  • Monday August 29th – 10:00am
  • Friday September 2nd – 10:00am
  • Wednesday September 7th – 10:00am
  • Tuesday September 13th – 11:00am
  • Friday September 16th - 12:00pm