What is CPT?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work authorization for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing an academic program in the U.S. and want to gain practical work experience in their field of study. CPT work has to be a required or an integral part of a student’s curriculum.
When do F-1 students become eligible for CPT?
To be eligible for CPT, TMCC students must be:
- Enrolled full-time for one academic year
- In good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA)
- In valid F-1 immigration status
How can CPT-eligible students begin the CPT application process?
To apply for CPT, students must follow these steps (more details in the Application Process section below):
- Contact the TMCC International Academic Advisor to verify eligibility.
- Attend a TMCC Career Center workshop and meet with the Internship Coordinator.
- Secure an official job offer.
- Register for a CPT-related internship credit for the term when you will be working on CPT.
- Schedule an appointment with International Admissions to turn in your complete CPT packet.
- Wait for the new CPT I-20 to begin work.
Are there any limitations on CPT?
- CPT is not available after a student completes a degree program.
- If a student works full-time on CPT for 12 months or more, the student loses their Optional Practical Training (OPT).
- Part-time CPT, even if more than 12 months are used up, does not affect OPT eligibility.
- CPT is an employer-specific work authorization: each CPT is authorized for a specific employer, job, dates and hours, and it can only be used for that employment segment.
Do students have to pay for CPT?
- There is no application fee for CPT.
- Students must pay the tuition fees of their CPT-related course. For fee information, visit TMCC's College Catalog for Tuition and Fees.
- Contact the TMCC International Academic Advisor to verify CPT eligibility.
- Call 775-673-7062 to make an appointment.
- Visit the TMCC Career Center.
- Visit the TMCC Career Center to get help in the job application process. The TMCC Career Center can assist you with job searching, interviewing, and writing a job cover letter and resume.
- Attend a TMCC Career Center workshop.
- Schedule an appointment with an Internship Coordinator to explore internship opportunities.
- Secure an offical job offer.
- The job offer letter must be on business letterhead.
- The letter must reference the following:
- Exact start and end dates of employment
- Number of work hours per week
- Job title and description of job duties
- Paid or unpaid employment
- Employer’s signature
- Employment address (Note: If the job will be at a location different from the employer’s address, the location of the employment must be included in the letter.)
- View Sample Employment Offer Letter »
- Request a CPT recommendation letter from the TMCC International Academic Advisor.
- Schedule an appointment with the TMCC International Academic Advisor.
- Present your official job offer letter to the TMCC International Academic Advisor during the appointment.
- Choose the appropriate CPT internship credit with the TMCC International Academic Advisor for the term that you will participate in CPT.
- Allow for 5 working days to receive your CPT recommendation letter from the TMCC International Academic Advisor.
- Register for the CPT internship credit.
- Register and pay for the CPT credit for the term that you will participate in CPT.
- Schedule an appointment with International Admissions to turn in your CPT application packet.
- Pick up your CPT I-20 from International Admissions, RDMT 319
- Allow for 5 working days to receive your CPT I-20.
- International Admissions staff will email you when your CPT I-20 is available for pickup in RDMT 319.
- When picking up your CPT I-20, verify the employment information at the top of page 2 of your new I-20 before leaving.
- Be prepared to begin CPT work
- Present your CPT I-20 to your employer.
- The new CPT I-20 serves as proof of employment for your CPT work. Your employer will ask you to present additional documentation to verify your employment eligibility.
- A Social Security Number (SSN) is required for employment in the U.S. If you do not have a Social Security Number yet, complete an International Letter Request and submit the completed form to International Admissions staff when you request a CPT I-20.
- You are only authorized to work during the start and end dates printed on page 2 of your CPT I-20.
- You can only work the number of hours per week that your CPT job offer letter specified, which is reflected as part-time (maximum 20 hours per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) on your CPT I-20.
- For work extending beyond the CPT authorization on your I-20, you must complete a new CPT Request and receive authorization from International Admissions before continuing the CPT work.
- View CPT Checklist »