F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Definition  |  CPT Workshop  |  How to Apply  |  When to Apply  |  Deadlines  |  Detailed Requirements


  • Immigration regulations define CPT as training programs that are an integral part of an established curriculum; defined as alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship/practicum, which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.

  • The ‘training’ must be in the form of a temporary internship and based on either of the following criteria: 

  1. Requirement for a particular course or to acquire needed data for PhD dissertation research (CPT through the Academic Department)   OR

  2. Approved as experimental learning and processed through the University Career Center (CPT through the University Career Center)

Attend a workshop to learn more!

All CPT workshops dates can be found on CPT Workshop Page and our ISSO Calendar.   

Review the CPT Powerpoint Presentation used in our Workshop

How to apply

Choose the correction CPT application

When to apply

Allow at least 10 business days for processing time prior to the start of any internship. 


  Summer 2020 Fall 2020 Notes
Date application opens Mar 28 Jul 18  
Apply by this date to work on the FIRST day of CPT Apr 24, 5 pm Aug 3, 5 pm Allows for a 2 week application processing time considering days the university may be closed for break or days ISSO may be closed during orientation.
Semester CPT dates May 11 - Sept 4 Sept 7 - Dec 23  
Latest application date Jul 6, 5 pm Nov 2, 5 pm Allows for a 2 week application processing time + a minimum 5 week internship.

Detailed Requirements

Eligibility Requirements - students must:
  • have been enrolled fulltime in current program of study for 2 consecutive semesters (excluding summer) in an immigration status that permits a full course of study (i.e. not H-1 or OPT status)
  • hold valid F1 status at the time of application
  • be in good academic standing
  • prove how the internship is a required component of a course in their major field of study OR how the internship is a required component for a Ph.D. student to complete dissertation research. Students must include proof of enrollment in their application.
Fulltime Enrollment Clarification:

CPT authorization is not a sufficient reason to drop below the fulltime study requirement for F1 students, nor delay graduation or interfere with normal academic progress. Therefore, CPT employment authorization is restricted to part-time (20 hrs/week) during fall/spring semesters with exceptions limited those listed below.  Online course enrollment is limited to 3 credit hours per semester and is not an option for students who have one course remaining in their degree program.

Fulltime Employment Clarification:

Fulltime CPT employment may be authorized only under the following circumstances:

  • Summer break
  • Fall/spring semesters ONLY for:
  • Master’s students who are enrolled in ONE final class (in their final term) that also has a fulltime work requirement OR
  • Doctoral students in dissertation status who have successfully completed all coursework requirements, defended dissertation proposal, require an internship to further their research toward dissertation defense, and will NOT hold a Graduate Assistantship or other on-campus employment during the time of the proposed internship
Location Specifications:

All CPT assignments for fall/spring semester must be located within a 1.5 hour driving distance from the University: 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223 while students are enrolled in coursework.

Remote assignments are possible as long as documentation from the employer can be provided to support how the work will be supervised (which technology will be used) and how often.