International Center

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for students is temporary employment that allows an F-1 student to gain practical experience through internships, cooperative education, or practicums. It is an integral part of the curriculum and must be directly related to the F-1 student’s major field of study. It is either a required part of the curriculum or taken for credit.

To Be Eligible For Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • You must have been in lawful full-time F-1 status for at least one academic year. 
  • You must be in good academic standing: undergraduates 2.25 grade-point average (GPA), graduate students a 3.0 GPA minimum. Note: Some departments may require a higher GPA. Students on academic probation will not be able to pursue or continue in the co-op/internship programs.
  • If you are already working on campus, you may not be eligible for CPT. The employment offer must be related directly to your major field of study as listed on the I-20.
  • To apply for CPT, you must work with your academic department, Career Services, or the Career Management Center for initial approvals. Final approval will be in the form of an updated I-20 issued by the International Center. Chicago-Kent College of Law, Institute of Design, and psychology students must work directly with the academic units and the International Center.
  • Authorization period and time restrictions:
    • Work authorization is granted by the academic terms (fall, spring, or summer); each term requires a new application or renewal. If approved, the I-20 will list the employer information, start date, end date, and approval to work either full-time (more than 20 hrs/week) or part-time (under 20 hrs/week).
  • Enrollment requirements:
    • Students enrolled in an internship during a required term (fall/spring) must be enrolled in 12 undergraduate or nine graduate credits of coursework/research in addition to the internship credits.
    • If you are enrolling in an internship during your last term, you must also be enrolled in at least one live course.

Loss or Changes in Employment

  • If employment has been terminated or work details have been changed by your employer, you are required to notify the Experiential Learning Office ( and the International Center ( within 10 days of the change. Once Curricular Practical Training (CPT) has been authorized to you, and if the start and end dates of the authorization have passed, the International Center cannot backdate your authorized dates. The SEVIS system does not allow us to do so.

Employment Dates and Hours

Employment can be approved for part-time or full-time during the fall and spring semesters.