Curricular Practical Training

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off campus work authorization for employment (whether it is paid or unpaid), such as internship, practicum, or co-op, for F-1 international students to receive further training relevant to their degree programs prior to degree completion. It is designed to achieve an established academic objective and is directly related to your degree level and major. Students have to be registered for an internship course for the semester(s) they are approved under CPT.

One of the following options students may gain approval for CPT:
  • Practical Training Experience is required for a student’s degree
  • Practical Training Experience is required to earn internship/practicum/ independent study credit for which a student will be registered
  • Practical Training Experience will provide research that is necessary for the student’s thesis or dissertation.
  • Practical Training Experience will yield a project for a particular course that is required by the student’s degree program

Who is eligible for CPT?

F-1 students in good academic standing with Adams State University, in good legal status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis, in the same SEVIS ID, for at least one full academic year (fall and spring semester) at a SEVIS approved school.

An exception may be made for graduate students who are required to participate in CPT during their first year of study. This means all participants in an academic program must do an internship within the initial year of study.

Students may have an on-campus job and CPT authorization at the same time.

How do I apply for CPT?

  1. Speak with your academic advisor to see if the employment/internship would be an integral part of your academic program prior to the semester of the potential CPT. It is strongly recommended that the student meet with the academic advisor early in the student’s academic program to determine if an internship or practicum will be part of the degree plan.
  2. Receive a job offer for CPT employment.
  3. See an Adams State PDSO or DSO to approve the CPT in SEVIS prior to the start of the semester once you have registered for the internship course.
    • Bring an official job letter on company letterhead that includes:

A student cannot start working with their CPT employer until they have received the new I-20 from the PDSO or DSO reflecting the CPT work authorization. 

Does CPT count against OPT?

Any time spent working for CPT does not affect the time that you are eligible for in OPT; however, if a student engages in 12 months or more of full time CPT, they are not eligible to apply for OPT. Periods of part-time CPT do not count towards the 12 month limit of full-time CPT.