Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment option available to F-1 students where the practical training employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. This employment may be an internship, a cooperative education job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree or for which academic credits is rewarded. Eligible students can obtain part-time (20 hours or less per week) or full-time (over 20 hours) CPT during spring or fall semesters or in vacation periods. Students must apply for CPT before the completion of educational objective. Eligible students must maintain full-time status during the training.


  1. Students must be in good academic standing and valid F-1 status for at least a full academic year.
  2. Graduate students in their first year of study may be eligible for CPT if required immediate CPT by their departments. Undergraduates are not eligible in their first year of study.
  3. You must have not previously engaged in 1 year or more of full-time CPT
  4. You have a job offer for an internship from a specific employer. Employment offer must be directly related to you major field of study.
  5. You must be registered in an internship course.

Application and Authorization Procedure:

  1. Schedule an appointment with the International Student Advisor and don't forget to bring the following documents to the appointment.
    • Your valid passport (valid for at least 6 months) and I-94 card
    • Your original SEVIS I-20 form and all previous I-20
    • A letter from your academic department confirming that the practical training is either recommended or required, and that it is an integral part of the department's curriculum.
    • Proof of registration for the CPT credits
    • A letter from your employer which states the duties of the job, beginning and ending date of your employment, and supervisor's name, title, address and phone number.

Note: The authorization is noted by the International Student Service (ISS) on the back of your I-20 form. You must not continue employment beyond the date authorized unless you apply and are granted an extension of your permission to work.


Q: Will the time used for Curricular Practical training be deducted from the twelve months of Optional Practical training (OPT)?
A: The time spent on CPT will not be deducted from the 12 months of allowable OPT unless students use 12 months or more of full-time CPT.

Q: Do I need to apply for a U.S. Social Security Number for curricular practical training?
A: Yes, if you plan to work in the U.S. you will need a valid Social Security Number. ISS can provide with instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number.

Q: When can I start working?
A: You can only begin working when you receive the Curricular Practical Training endorsement on your I-20. Any work that takes place before the endorsement or after expiration date indicated on your I-20 are unauthorized employment.

Q: Can I work for different employers?
A: No. You are not eligible to change employers unless authorized by USCIS.

Q: Can I apply for CPT even if my academic department does not offer any?
A: Unfortunately, no. CPT is directly linked to the curriculum of your academic department. Since your academic department does not offer any internship, practicum of Co-Op, you may not be able to purse a CPT employment.


Contact Us

  • Kean University, Center for International Studies (C.I.S. - CAS 121)
  • 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey 07083
  • Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm
  • |  908-737-0350 |Fax: 908-737-0348