Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is an opportunity for F-1 students to learn practical skills related to their majors while studying at Elmhurst University.

It requires off-campus work authorization that may be obtained from ISS. It requires that you receive academic credit for the work experience for which you request authorization. CPT is not designed for long-term, continuous employment.

Please Note: Partaking in 12 months or more of CPT prohibits you from participating in OPT.

Common forms of CPT are:

  • Employment directly related to your academic major
  • A paid or unpaid internship
  • A Cooperative (co-op) education experience
  • Participation in a Practicum

Click each of the below sections to access and review pertinent information.

Students are eligible for CPT when they meet the following requirements:

  • Have active F-1 status.
  • Have completed one year (two semesters) of full-time academic study
  • Are making normal academic progress.
  • Have obtained a job/internship offer letter prior to requesting CPT authorization
  • Are registered for an internship/practicum/research-bearing or -accommodating course that is an integral part of your curriculum
  • Hours
    • Part-time CPT is 20 hours per week or less.
    • Full-time CPT is over 20 hours a week.
      • Full-time CPT is only an option during a vacation or break
  • Changes to CPT
    • Any changes to your CPT (shortening CPT or canceling CPT) must be discussed with your DSO/PDSO prior to taking action.
  • Course Registration
    • As CPT is curricular training, you need to be registered in the appropriate course prior to receiving CPT authorization from ISS.
  • Employment
    • Must be directly related to the student’s academic major
  • Timing 
    • CPT is authorized for one semester (the duration of the corresponding course) and requires a new authorization for each applicable semester after.
    • Do not start CPT employment prior to the designated start date or continue past the designated end date on your CPT authorization.
  • Discuss CPT eligibility with your DSO/PDSO early
  • Register for the appropriate internship bearing or accommodating course
  • Obtain a job offer that is directly related to your academic major
  • Complete the electronic CPT I-20 Request Form with your Academic Advisor/Program Director
    • After clicking the hyperlinked form above, log-in to Etrieve via Okta by clicking the blue circle Okta icon (next to the Google icon)
    • You (the student) complete and submit the first part of the form
    • You (the student) receive an email to forward on to your Academic Advisor/Program Director to complete and submit the second part of the form
    • Once the completed form is received, a DSO will put the CPT recommendation on your (the student’s) I-20
      • If the form is incomplete or incorrectly filled out, it will be denied and you (the student) will need to resubmit

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