Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorizes an F-1 student to engage in an on- or off-campus paid training that is integral to or required for the academic program. CPT authorizations are issued by ISSS and specify the employer, site of activity, and start and end dates authorized during the training.

Eligibility

In general, you must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for CPT:

  • Currently in valid F-1 status (see Maintaining Immigration Status)
  • Good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or above for undergraduate students, 3.0 or above for graduate students)
  • Enrolled full-time in the U.S. in a valid immigration status for at least one academic year prior to the training start date*
  • Enrolled in an experiential learning course for the academic term of the training (Independent Study is not accepted for Experiential Learning) unless required by the academic program or necessary for thesis/dissertation
  • Training must be related to major, NOT concentration or minor
  • Training is either required by academic program or is an integral part of it

*Regulations require one full academic year of study in the U.S. in a valid immigration status before a student may engage in CPT except when enrolled in graduate level studies where immediate CPT is required of all students engaging in the program. In these instances, CPT is allowed in the first year of study.

Application Process

All CPT requests must be submitted in the ISSS Portal. Before submitting the request, read the information below.

There are two routes for students to apply for CPT. If you are unsure of which route is appropriate for your program, please contact ISSS.

  • Directly Through Department
    1. Student meets with academic advisor to discuss opportunities for training.
    2. Student receives training offer and training letter from training provider.
    3. Student provides advisor with the CPT academic advisor form to complete, advisor returns the completed form to student.
    4. Student enrolls in experiential learning course if required.
    5. Student submits CPT Request in the ISSS Portal.
    6. ISSS advisor reviews request, approves it if it meets the requirements and issues authorization on Form I-20.
      • Allow 3-5 business days for processing.
    7. Student receives I-20 from ISSS and can begin training on the start date of CPT.
  • Through Pioneer Careers Online (PCO)
    1. Student meets with academic advisor to discuss opportunities for training.
    2. Student receives training offer and training letter from training provider.
    3. Student submits training opportunity in Pioneer Careers Online (PCO) to be approved by academic advisor and enrolled in the experiential learning course.
    4. After receiving email from PCO with PDF file attached confirming course registration, student submits CPT Request in the ISSS Portal.
    5. ISSS advisor reviews request, approves it if it meets the requirements and issues authorization on Form I-20.
      • Allow 3-5 business days for processing.
    6. Student receives I-20 from ISSS and can begin training on the start date of CPT.

Sample Training Letter

Duration of Authorization

CPT may only be authorized prior to the completion of your academic program. CPT authorizations are given for one term at a time unless required by academic program or for thesis/dissertation. Multiple authorizations may be given without limit throughout your program.

Students who have been authorized for 12 months of full-time CPT or more are not eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the same degree level.

NOTE that CPT authorization based on experiential learning course registration will not cover the entire winter break. Per DU Registrar policy, experiential learning cannot begin more than 2 weeks prior to the academic term start date and must stop no more than 2 weeks after classes end. For example, Fall 2022 experiential learning must end by December 2nd and Winter 2023 experiential learning cannot begin before December 20, 2022. Therefore, any student who has a training opportunity which could extend from the Fall quarter into the Winter quarter should inform their supervisor of the gap in work authorization. 

Hours Per Week

Your CPT authorization on Form I-20 will indicate whether you are eligible for part-time or full-time training. If you have been authorized for part-time training, you may not work more than 20 hours per week. You should speak to your supervisor about the number of hours you will be expected to work each week to ensure you do not exceed the maximum limit.