Curricular Practical Training

CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING (CPT) is an opportunity for international students in F-1 status to participate in professional, temporary employment such as an internship, co-op program, practicum or similar situation, which is undertaken prior to the completion of studies. The training must either be a required part OR an integral part of the established curriculum and the student must receive academic credit for the employment that will count toward degree requirements.

CPT is NOT a stop-gap or a back door to employment. For work that is directly related to the student’s major, but has no curricular component, the student should consider Optional Practical Training.

Academic Credit Requirement

For the employment, the student must enroll in a class for credit and the class MUST either be required for the degree or the class must qualify as an elective course required for the student’s degree.

The period of employment should normally fall within the limits of a given academic term. Students participating in CPT during a fall or spring semester must continue to pursue a full course of study. Both failure to enroll in the specific course for which the CPT is approved and to complete the employment during the period of authorization will result in a violation of immigration status.


Eligibility

Students are eligible for CPT after they have completed two full semesters (fall and spring) in valid F-1 status (including enrolling full-time each semester and possessing a valid I-20). Time spent on an approved full-time study abroad program may be counted toward the two-semester requirement as long as the student has completed one semester in the U.S. before studying abroad.

Students who have finished all course requirements except for thesis, dissertation or equivalent may only participate in CPT if the employment is necessary to obtain data from the employment that will be published in and significantly contribute to the thesis, dissertation or equivalent.


Full-time VS Part-time CPT

Employment may be either full-time (over 20 hours a week) or part-time (20 hours or less a week). If 12 months of full-time CPT is used then no Optional Practical Training (OPT) is permitted at that degree level. Part-time CPT or less than 12 months of full time CPT will not impact the OPT period.


Authorization

An international student advisor in the International Student Services Office (ISS) authorizes CPT. Employment may not begin until the proper authorization is obtained on page 2 of the student’s I-20 and must end by the authorized completion date. 


How to Apply

   Download Printable Worksheet [PDF]

Step 1

  • Talk to your CPT course instructor and your academic advisor first. 

Step 2

  • Log into iHawk using your KU online ID and password. Go to "F-1 Practical Training" --> "CPT Request".  
  • Submit all three parts of the e-form group (CPT Part 1 Instructor Recommendation, CPT Part 2 Advisor Recommendation, CPT Part 3 Associate Dean's Recommendation) in this order.
  • You may find it helpful to bring a portable device to submit e-forms in front of your course instructor/advisor:
    • Once you submit all three e-forms, the instructor you listed in Part 1 will immediately receive an email requesting recommendation of your CPT.
    • When the instructor completes his/her verifications, then the academic advisor you listed in Part 2 will receive an email requesting input.
    • Once the academic advisor completes his/her verifications, then the dean (only if you are in the School of Engineering) will receive an email requesting verification.  If you are NOT in the School of Engineering, you will receive an email to come to ISS for CPT application processing.

Step 3

  • Once ALL three parts of the CPT e-Forms are in "PENDING" status, you can meet with an ISS advisor during walk-in advising hours or schedule an appointment by calling 785-864-3617 to process your CPT request.
  • The ISS advisor will verify your F-1 status and confirm that the employment meets the curricular requirements.  If the ISS advisor approves the CPT, a new I-20 will be issued with the employment authorization.

Employment may begin only after the ISS advisor has authorized the CPT by endorsing your I-20. The I-20 is the official document authorizing the Curricular Practical Training employment.


Immigration Advising Hours

ISS is open 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday - Friday. 

Walk-in hours:
1:30pm-4:00pm Monday-Friday

Appointment hours:
9:00am-11:30am Tuesday-Friday
 
Walk-in vs. Appointment
Appointments are for matters ≥ 15 minutes.
Walk-in advising is for matters ≤ 15 minutes.
Walk-ins are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Walk-ins: Withdrawal from KU, concurrent enrollment, curricular practical training*, dependents, duplicate I-20 or DS-2019, extension for I-20*, financial update, J-1 on-campus work permit, reduced course load, social security number, transferring out, and any general questions.
 
Appointments: J-1 academic training, change of status, economic hardship, curricular practical training*, optional practical training, OPT STEM extension, reinstatement, and extension for I-20* or DS-2019.
 
*can be conducted during walk-in or by appointment.
Presidential Executive Order Update & Information
 
 


KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times