Curricular Practical Training (CPT) | Current International Students

Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major field of study. Your major field of study is listed on your I-20 document. CPT cannot be in a minor or previous major.

"Practical training" can include employment, internship experience (paid or unpaid), cooperative (co-op) education experience, practicum participation, etc. In all cases, students must have obtained permission prior to beginning the training program.

Eligibility Requirements for CPT


The Carroll University Curricular Practical Training (CPT) application can be found through the International Student Support Canvas page.

Steps to Apply for CPT

Full-Time / Part-Time

CPT may be part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). If you accumulate 12 months of full-time CPT authorization, you lose your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT), another type of employment authorization for F-1 students. Part-time CPT and fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization does not affect your OPT eligibility.

Course Registration

CPT is an academic employment authorization. As a result, all students will be required to be enrolled in a corresponding Carroll University course for their CPT authorization. Typically this is an internship or field study course. Standard credit fees do apply.

Employment Authorization Start and End Dates

You are able to apply for CPT during Carroll's fall, spring, and summer terms. Your CPT authorization will be as follows:

Students who wish to continue past their authorization end dates will be required to submit a new CPT Application and enroll in the appropriate Carroll University course during the next term.

Please note that CPT is position-specific. If you wish to change positions (in the same organization or starting at a new organization) while you have a current CPT authorization you will be required to submit a new CPT Application. Your I-20 will be updated to reflect the appropriate start and end dates of your prior and new CPT authorizations. Additional course enrollment will not be required as long as you have current CPT authorization.

Paid vs. Unpaid

Receiving a paycheck has nothing to do with whether or not you need CPT approval. We suggest all students who are working (paid or unpaid) obtain CPT authorization. However, there may be some opportunities which are truly volunteer, and you may not necessarily need CPT authorization.

According to the Department of Labor, a volunteer is an "individual who performs hours of service... for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, without promise, expectation or receipt of compensation for services rendered." Such volunteering examples in a non-profit setting are working at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

Appropriate volunteering at a for-profit, private sector company is much more complicated. To meet the Department of Labor's standards of volunteering at a for-profit company, you must meet all their six criteria on Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs.

In cases of ambiguity, it is OGE's recommendation to obtain CPT authorization as these criteria are difficult to meet, subject to interpretation, and may be scrutinized in future benefit application, such as OPT and H1B.

Social Security Number

All students participating in paid CPT will be required to obtain a Social Security number. Please review our Social Security Numbers page for more information.

More Information

Please contact your international student advisor for additional information regarding this application form.

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