Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is an integral part of an established curriculum. Federal regulations define it as a type of alternate work/study, internship, co-operative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
Types of CPT
International students can be authorized for two different types of CPT.
- Full-time: work over 20 hours per week
- Full-time CPT + On-campus employment = 40 hours
- Part-time: work 20 hours or less per week
- Part-time CPT + On-campus employment = 20 hours
(International students can only use 11 months and 29 days of full-time CPT, if they plan on applying for OPT after they graduate. There is no cap on the amount of part-time CPT a student can use.)
Who is eligible for CPT?
International students can engage in CPT if:
- The student is currently in valid F-1 student status.
- The student has been lawfully enrolled at a DHS-approved school on a full-time basis for one full academic year (exceptions provided for graduate students where CPT is required immediately).
- The internship is an integral part of an established curriculum in the student’s program of study.
Who is NOT eligible for CPT?
International students CANNOT apply for CPT if:
- The student is in their final semester and has no remaining courses for their degree requirements.
- The student will not receive academic credit during the published St. Cloud State University semester dates.
Important Points to Remember
- Students must allow 5 full business days after submission of a complete application for the Center for International Studies to process their request.
- International students must be authorized by the Center for International Studies for CPT before beginning employment. Working off-campus without prior authorization is a violation of F-1 student status.
- International students may engage in CPT only for the specified employer, location and amount of time approved in SEVIS by the Center for International Studies.
- Although CPT regulations permit employment, its purpose is to attach practical experience to international student coursework. CPT should not be perceived simply as a form of work authorization.
- CPT applications must be submitted to the Center for International Studies for authorization whether the position is paid or unpaid.
- To be eligible for CPT during their final semester of study, international students may participate in full-time (more than 20 hours/week) CPT if the internship is a program requirement or part-time CPT (less than 20 hours/week) if they have remaining courses for their graduation requirements that will be taken concurrently during the semester.
- If an international student is required to continue their internship beyond the end date of the published St. Cloud State University semester date, they must speak to the Center for International Studies for authorization.
- The Center for International Studies can only authorize CPT for the current semester or upcoming semester if the international student is already enrolled in the course required for their CPT.