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Curricular Practical Training
for F-1 Students
University of Oklahoma International Student Services
640 Parrington Oval, Room #220
Norman, OK 73019
405-325-3337
[email protected]
http://www.ou.edu/cis/iss
Important Terms
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DSO: Designated School Official – OU
International Student Advisor
USCIS: US Citizenship and Immigration
Services
CPT: curricular practical training
OPT: optional practical training
EAD: employment authorization document
(card)
Practical Training: Two Types
An F-1 student may wish to find an
internship (CPT) or temporary employment
(OPT) to gain practical experience in the
field of study.
Type 1:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Internship offered by sponsoring employers
through agreements with the university that is
required as an integral part of an established
curriculum, or will count toward degree
requirements. CPT is recommended by the
academic advisor and authorized by the
DSO.
Type 2:
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
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Temporary employment authorization granted
by USCIS for practical training that is directly
related to the student’s major area of study.
OPT can be taken during annual summer
vacation, part-time during regular school
session, after completion of course
requirements or after completion of course of
study.
Curricular Practical Training:
What is it exactly?
• An F-1 student may wish to find an
internship to gain practical experience in
the field of study. To obtain this type of
employment authorization, the USCIS
permits an F-1 student to seek
authorization from the DSO for curricular
practical training.
Curricular Practical Training
Preconditions
Lawfully enrolled as
full-time student for
one academic year
(fall + spring
semester).
Location
Employed only by
specific internship
employer, location,
and for specific
dates as approved
by DSO.
Duration
Approval granted each
semester. Must reapply
prior to each semester if
interning multiple
semesters.
Hours/Week
CPT approved
for part-time (20h
or less per week)
or full-time (20+
hours per week).
Full-time CPT
granted for
summer
semester only.
Field
Must be an integral
part of curriculum
and count toward
degree
requirements
(required or
recommended)..
Offer of
Employment
Must obtain
specific internship
offer letter before
applying for CPT.
Enrollment
Enroll in and complete at
least 1 credit hour
required for the
internship. Minimum
enrollment requirements
apply in spring and fall
semesters.
Approval
Receive work
authorization
from DSO on I20 before
internship
begins.
CPT and other work authorization
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Students who use 12 full
months of full-time CPT
become ineligible for
OPT under US
immigration law
Use of part-time CPT
does not affect OPT
Consider applying for
pre-completion OPT if
your degree program is
not eligible for CPT
Important!
An F-1 student pursuing recommended – not
required - CPT cannot hold a concurrent,
part-time, on-campus job during the fall and
spring semesters. This includes GA
appointments. Total number of hours
worked per week cannot exceed twenty
during the fall and spring semesters!
If this applies to you, please speak with an
advisor before you apply for CPT.
This does not apply to Summer CPT.
IMPORTANT REGULATION!
CPT employment authorization is strictly
regulated under US federal immigration law.
Working at your internship before the CPT
start date on your I-20 or continuing
internship employment (paid or unpaid) after
the CPT authorization end date on your I-20
IS A SERIOUS VISA VIOLATION AND CAN
RESULT IN A LOSS OF YOUR F-1 VISA
STATUS.
Other considerations
The internship must be an integral part of an
established curriculum. This means that the
internship is:
1. required for all degree candidates, or
2. part of an internship course for academic credit
towards the degree – support letter from
academic advisor required, or
3. required to complete thesis/dissertation
research; results will be included in thesis or
dissertation - support letter from academic
advisor required
CPT Application Process and Deadlines
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Attend OU ISS CPT/OPT workshop
Meet with your academic advisor. Does your degree program
require an internship of all students, or will it award internship
credit toward your degree requirements? Obtain detailed
internship offer letter (see template)
If your program does not require an internship, or will not award
credit for an internship, plan ahead for pre-completion OPT in
your field of study
Enroll in the internship course when your enrollment window
opens, and before the add/drop period closes of the semester in
which you wish to do CPT
Gather documents and submit CPT application packet to OU
ISS – allow 5-10 business days for processing. Pick up CPT I20 after you have been notified via email by OU ISS
OU ISS WILL PROCESS NO CPT APPLICATIONS IN A
CURRENT SEMESTER AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE ADD
PERIOD FOR THE SEMESTER (the last day of the first week of
the semester)
Deadlines to Submit
CPT Applications
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Applications due in ISS office by end of first
week of class
Submit CPT packets to
OU ISS
640 Parrington Oval, #220
Norman, OK 73019
Email [email protected] with questions
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