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Curricular practical training

Curricular practical training is an employment authorization that allows F-1 students to work off-campus in a work/study program. This may include an internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with MU.

Eligibility

To be approved for CPT, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been in lawful status for one full academic year
  • Have not completed your course of study
  • Have a job/internship offer that is related to your field of study
  • Have an internship requirement as part of your degree plan
  • Receive academic credit and a grade for the internship
  • Have been offered a position in writing before CPT can be approved — CPT is employer-specific (employment can be paid or unpaid)

If you are unsure if you qualify for CPT, please meet with your international student adviser.

During the fall and spring semesters, you are only eligible to engage in part-time CPT (20 hours per week or fewer). During the summer and official school breaks, you are eligible to engage in full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week).

Application process

New for fall 2019: In-person CPT workshops
See upcoming dates

You can apply for CPT at any time that you meet the qualifications.

  1. Review the online CPT workshop.
  2. Receive a job or internship offer that is related to your field of study and required by your department or adviser. The offer letter should include:
    • Job title
    • Brief description of the goals and objectives of your training program (employment)
    • Dates of employment
    • Location of employment
    • Number of hours per week
    • Name and address of your training supervisor
  3. Meet with your academic adviser to discuss your internship plan. They will complete a recommendation in myStatus when you make a request.
  4. Enroll in the CPT course for the semester(s) in which you are applying for CPT.
    • Most students enroll in an internship, practicum, independent study or problems course for CPT. It is up to you and your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate course.
    • Graduate students: If you are working on your thesis or dissertation and the CPT employment will provide data for your research project, you may enroll in research credit hours to count as the CPT course. This will require a letter of explanation from your academic adviser.
  5. Submit an online CPT request. You can submit the following required supporting documents either online with your request or to the International Center front desk:
    • Job offer letter
  6. Wait up to five business days while your request is processed.
  7. Receive your new I-20 with CPT authorization on the third page.

Things to remember

  • Full-time CPT for 12 months or more cancels out your eligibility for OPT.
  • You may be authorized for as much part-time CPT as is necessary for your program.
  • Even if the internship is unpaid, you must still obtain CPT authorization.
  • CPT can only be authorized for a specific job; the job cannot change during CPT.
  • You cannot begin employment until you receive your new I-20 and the CPT start date has passed.
  • If you change your mind about CPT or lose your job, you must notify the International Center immediately so your CPT authorization can be canceled.