Skip to main content

Curricular Practical Training

WHAT IS CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 student temporary work experience that is an integral part of an established curriculum including 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. 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i).

CPT must be authorized by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in accordance with the F-1 regulations.

Don't begin employment without authorization!!!

ELIGIBILITY FOR CPT

To be eligible for CPT, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently in valid F-1 status at Eastern Kentucky University.
  • You have been enrolled full-time for at least one full academic year at EKU or at an SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program)-approved college or university in the U.S. An exception to the one full academic year requirement may be granted to graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT.
  • You must have offered employment that is directly related your major field of study.
  • You will continue to be enrolled full-time during the CPT.
  • You are in good academic standing. Minimum grade for undergraduates is 2.0 GPA; for Graduates is 3.0 GPA.

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Authorization

  • CPT can only be authorized by an international student advisor from the OISSS if you meet all the CPT eligibility requirements.
  • You cannot start employment before obtaining CPT authorization.
  • CPT authorization must be obtained for every co-op, internship, practicum, student teaching etc.
  • CPT can be either paid or unpaid, but must be authorized by OISSS regardless of payment.
  • CPT is authorized one semester at a time (Fall, Spring or Summer).
  • A student must submit a new CPT request (including all required documents), for each semester of CPT.

Duration

  • CPT can be either full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (less than 20 hours per week) as determined by the academic department.
  • Participation in 12 months or more of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • Participation in CPT may begin on or after the first day of the semester, but must end by the last day of the semester.

Employer and Employment Information

  • CPT is authorized for a specific employer, location, number of hours and period of time. The employer’s name and address; and the exact start and end dates will be printed on page 2 of the Form I-20.
  • You are not allowed to work for an employer that is not listed on the I-20.
  • To work for two employers, you must obtain a separate authorization for each CPT employer. The new employer’s name, addressand employment dates must be printed on page 2 of the Form I-20.

Class Registration Requirement

  • You must register for appropriate CPT class during the same semester that you are doing your practical training.
  • Students approved to CPT in the Fall or Spring semester, must be enrolled full-time during that period.
  • Students pursuing CPT in the summer are only required to enroll in the internship course, but may choose to take additional classes if they wish. 

TYPES OF CPT AT EKU

  1. Degree Requirement: An internship is a graduation requirement for all students in the degree program. This means that everyone in the program must do an internship or they will not be able to graduate.
  2. Co-op (Cooperative Education): This is pre-existing arrangements between EKU & employers that allow EKU students to participate in optional programs that integrate academic study with related job experience. Students earn academic credit as well as a salary. Placements are made through the EKU Center for Career & Co-op. For detailed information and instructions on how to apply for co-op, please contact the Center for Career & Co-op located in Whitlock Building, Room 468 or visit this website.
  3. Course Credit: An elective course within a degree program that requires internship or work experience.
  4. Dissertation Research: A graduate student is required to engage in off-campus work experience to complete research necessary for his or her dissertation.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Students applying for F-1 Curricular Practical training (CPT) are encouraged to follow these steps when preparing their applications:

1. Determine your Eligibility for CPT.

To determine your eligibility, you must do the following:

  • Read all the information about CPT regulation and application procedure from this website and; 
  • Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor from OISSS to discuss your eligibility, go over CPT regulation and application procedure.

2. Meet your Academic Advisor or Co-op Coordinator

Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor and/or co-op/internship coordinator from the Center for Career & Co-op to discuss about your academic eligibility and interest in off-campus job opportunities. Afterwards, have your academic advisor fill out the Academic Adviser’s CPT Recommendation Form

3. Get a Job Related to Your Major Field of Study

Find a job and obtain Employment Offer Letter for the CPT from the company. If you need assistance in finding a job, contact the Center for Career & Co-op to set up an appointment with one of the Co-op/Intern Career Counselors. The Employment Offer Letter must be printed on the company’s letterhead and include the following information:

  • The start date and end date of employment
  • The number of hours per week you will be working
  • The physical location (street address, city, state, and zip code, not P.O. Box) where the job will be conducted
  • The name and contact of your supervisor
  • Job title and description of job duties

4. Complete Required Forms & Register for CPT Course

Please complete the following relevant documents for the CPT:

5. Register for the appropriate course for the CPT/internship experienc

6. Turn in the Following Documents to OISSS

  • CPT Request Form
  • CPT Academic Advisor Recommendation Form
  • Employment Offer Letter
  • Copies of I-20, passport, visa and I-94
  • Copy of Co-op Job Application Form (if internship is done through the Center for Career & Co-op)
  • Class Schedule as proof of enrollment

The OISSS advisor will review your documents, verify your F-1 status and confirm whether or not you are eligible to participate in CPT. If the advisor determines that you are eligible, he/she will issue you a new I-20 with the CPT authorization which includes the employer's name, address and the specific dates of employment printed on page 2. You will be notified by email to pick up your I-20.

Please Note: The I-20 is the official document authorizing the CPT. Therefore, you must have the CPT authorization I-20 prior to work experience.

7. Submit New I-20 to your Employer and Begin Employment

Please pick up your new I-20 from OISSS and show it your employer. Your employer will make a copy of the I-20 and thereafter you can begin your employment. Remember, you can only work during the dates of employment authorized on the I-20.