Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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

  1. CPT is authorized by the Office of International Student Services (OISS) in accordance with the F-1 regulations each term.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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.
  4. 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:*

  1. 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.
  2. If eligible to receive credit for practical training, student will meet with employer to decide upon learning objectives related to major/program. 
  3. 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
  4. 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

Processing Times

An applicant should allow 3-5 working days for processing of the authorization.


  1. 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.
  2. CPT is only available prior to completion of a program of study.

For further details, please see your International Student Advisor: International Student Advising