Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular Practical Training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. An F-1 student may be authorized by an International Student Advisor to participate in a CPT program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Students who have received one year or more of full time CPT are ineligible for post-completion academic training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the International Student Advisor. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving their Form I-20 with an advisor’s endorsement.
A student may be eligible for CPT if the student:*
- is maintaining F-1 visa status, and is in good academic standing
- has been enrolled in a SEVIS-approved school in lawful non-immigrant status for at least 9 months
- is not studying in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program
- is in a degree-seeking academic program
- has proposed employment that is a required part of their program of study OR required to gain admittance into a closed program (eg, Health Admission Programs)
- has earned a minimum of 12 credits at Portland Community College (PCC) in the program of interest and is not in their first term at PCC
- Credits earned at another institution will not suffice to meet eligibility the eligibility requirements
- Credits earned at another educational level will not suffice to meet the eligibility requirements
*A CPT request must be submitted to OISS no later than the first Friday of the term in which you are requesting to be authorized.
Items to Note
- CPT is authorized by the Office of International Student Services (OISS) in accordance with the F-1 regulations each term.
- CPT may not be an option for all students.
- Students who are pursuing a transfer majors/degree are not be eligible for CPT.
- Students are not able to continue the same practical training they have held previously for OPT and/or for related academic study.
- Practical training can include internship experience (paid or unpaid), cooperative (co-op) education experience, practicum participation, etc.
- CPT approval is required for any student wishing to engage in an internship (paid or unpaid) off campus.
- Internships must be an integral/required part of the program.
- A student may apply for CPT during the regular academic year or during their annual vacation term. During the regular academic year, a student must remain registered full-time while completing CPT (unless otherwise approved).
Applying for CPT is a multi-step process:*
- Student makes appointment to meet with an International Student Advisor to confirm they meet the basic eligibility requirements for CPT. Upon confirmation of eligibility, the advisor will give student a CPT pre-approval form for the student to take with them when meeting their Co-op Education Advisor or Program Advisor.
- Co-op Ed/Program Advisor will determine if student is eligible to earn credit for their work experience and may assist in making internship referrals.
- If eligible to receive credit for practical training, student will meet with employer to decide upon learning objectives related to major/program.
- Student brings the following items to their International Student Advisor by the first Friday of the current term so that they may review and adjudicate the case:
- completed CPT Request form
- copy of completed Cooperative Education Training Agreement & Learning Objectives form
- Once student is registered for the appropriate credit(s), the International Student Advisor will issue a new I-20 with the CPT dates noted on the third page.
*Note: A student may not begin working until they have been officially approved for CPT by their International Student Advisor
An applicant should allow 3-5 working days for processing of the authorization.
- If a student is authorized for 12 months or more of full-time CPT, they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of a degree.
- CPT is only available prior to completion of a program of study.
For further details, please see your International Student Advisor: International Student Advising