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.


  • F-1 student 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.

Part-time CPT (20 hours per week or fewer) is permissible during the fall and spring semesters.

Full-time CPT (more than 20 hours per week) is permissible during the summer and official school breaks. In specific cases, full-time CPT may be granted during fall and spring semesters if the following criteria are met:

  • Undergraduate students
    • A full-time internship is required for all students in the degree program.
  • Graduate students
    • A full-time internship is required for all students in the degree program, OR
    • The student has completed all formal coursework (master’s) or are post-comps (doctoral) AND the full-time internship will significantly contribute to their thesis or dissertation in a material and substantial manner.

Application process

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 the 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 a CPT request in myStatus. You can submit the following required documents either online with your request or to the International Student and Scholar Services front desk (N52 Memorial Union).
    • 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 International Student and Scholar Services immediately so your CPT authorization can be canceled.

Athletes and name, image, likeness

Student athletes who pursue NIL deals in the United States must be authorized for CPT prior to signing a contract. The work that takes place as part of the contract must be directly related to your major field of study. The eligibility and application process outlined above still apply.