Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

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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):

  1. Contact the TMCC International Academic Advisor to verify eligibility.
  2. Attend a TMCC Career Center workshop and meet with the Internship Coordinator.
  3. Secure an official job offer.
  4. Register for a CPT-related internship credit for the term when you will be working on CPT.
  5. Schedule an appointment with International Student Services to turn in your complete CPT packet.
  6. 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?