Curricular Practical Training (CPT)—8 C.F.R.214.2 (F)(10)(i)


An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is “an integral part of an established curriculum.” Curricular practical training is defined to be “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”

For further information on CPT, visit the help hub from the Department of Homeland Security.

Specific training that is required of all students is generally viewed as an acceptable basis for approving CPT. The phrase “integral part of an established curriculum” is subject to a great deal of interpretation. An internship may qualify as curricular practical training because it may be required for a particular course or track, within a larger educational objective, even though it is not required for all students in the program. Also employment offered under cooperative agreements between an employer and the university through a university cooperative education office, which is an integral part of the curriculum but not required either for a particular course or of all students constitutes bona fide curricular practical training.

CPT is designed to facilitate employment that deemed an integral part of the program of study. The completion of the degree cannot be extended or delayed to accommodate curricular practical training.

There are two types of CPT: Full and Part time CPT

  1. During summer (full time or part time) allowed
  2. While school is in session part time is the only option
  3. Part time = 20 hours or less;
  4. Full time = 21 hours or more

Federal Requirements for CPT (Federal Policy)

  1. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion practical training.
  2. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training.
  3. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO
    1. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement. To grant authorization for a student to engage in curricular practical training, a DSO in SIS, Registrar office will update the student's record in SEVIS as being authorized for curricular practical training that is directly related to the student's major area of study.

(The DSO will indicate whether the training is full-time or part-time, the employer and location, and the employment start and end date. The DSO will then print the SEVIS Form I-20 indicating that curricular practical training has been approved. The DSO must sign, date, and return the SEVIS Form I-20 to the student prior to the student's commencement of employment).

  1. CPT job must be directly related to student major field of study.
  2. Not available to students in English Language Training Programs.
  3. Curricular Practical training does not affect the time allowed for Optional Practical  Training (OPT) unless it is used full time for a year or more.
  4. It is employer and date specific
  5. CPT is authorized for one term at a time, i.e. fall semester, spring semester, or summer
  6. CPT terminates when the student completes the program or fails to comply with F-1 regulations.

Internship (Employment) which is a required part of a student’s major field of study

  • Student must have maintained F-1 status that has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least nine consecutive months. (Two semesters for semester program)
  • If an internship is a requirement for graduation, CPT need not be credit bearing. Needs to be mentioned in the University catalog.
  • Course supervisor needs to fill in the Form
  • Training offer form to be filled in by the employer is required as CPT is employer specific. CPT requires a written job offer indicating job title, dates of employment, number of hours, and location of employment before getting the I-20 from the Student Immigration Services.
  • Student needs to turn in the forms from Course supervisor and Employer to the DSO along with Biola application form for Off-campus employment.
  • DSO needs to authorize the student in I-20 before the start of the CPT employment.
  • Full time (more than 20 hours a week) will only be approved in limited circumstances such as, students in programs that require full-time internships. If full-time (more than 20 hours per week) for 12 months or more, the student becomes ineligible for optional practical training.
  • Possession of Social Security Number is essential to start the employment.

Internship (Employment) which is not a required part of a student’s major field of study

Procedure by the Student:

  1. Student must have maintained the F-1 status at least for nine full months or two semesters in a semester system or three semesters in a tri-semester system.
  2. Student should enroll for internship or practicum credits for the program within the major field of study.
  3. Get the job offer letter with all the relevant particulars from the employer as CPT is employer specific
  4. An internal recommendation form needs to be turned in to SIS by the department chair or supervising professor. Department will ensure that position meets CPT requirement which is major-related & then approve. Thus if an internship is not a requirement for graduation, we may require registration in a specific internship within the major curriculum. Work must be required by a credit-bearing course within the student’s major program.
  5. Meet the DSO with all the above forms to get the I-20 for CPT endorsement before starting the job
  6. Final Document Checklist as follows to be given to DSO to obtain the I-20 recommending for CPT
    • Biola Application For Off-Campus Employment from SIS
    • Course Supervisor Form to be filled in the Professor explaining how the training is related to the student’s major field of study
    • Training Information Form filled in by the employer
    • Make sure of possessing SSN before starting the work
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