Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

The regulation states that curricular practical training must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” They define CPT as “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.” (8 C.F.R$ 214.2(f) (10) (i))


  • Have been in F-1 for one full academic year, be in good academic and legal standing, and carry a full course of study
  • Demonstrate that employment is necessary in order to avoid unforeseen economic hardship and that on-campus employment opportunities are not available or insufficient
  • Establish that the employment will not interfere with full-time study


  • Off-campus employment but no specific prohibition on


  • Depends on the specific period granted by the DSO
  • No cumulative maximum

Hours per Week

  • Limited to 20 hours/week while school is in session
  • Can be full-time during official school breaks

Field/Level of Work

  • Can be in any job, not necessarily related to program of study

Offer of Employment

  • Not required

Effect on Other Work

  • None  

Approval Process

  • Must apply for EAD
  • May begin employment after receiving EAD (bring ISO a copy)

What to Submit

  • Proof of unforeseen hardship
  • Unavailability or insufficiency of on-campus employment
  • Two passport photos
  • Form I-765
  • Application fee of $380
  • New SEVIS I-20 with a DSO's recommendation for employment
  • Copy pf I-94, passport ID page
  • Submit to the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction


More Information

International Student Office