Curricular Practical Training
Note: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of federal regulations, but are subject to change without notice
Under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)-(12) F-1 students may be authorized for practical training if eligibility requirements have been met. An eligible student may request practical training authorization for training in a position related to their major or area of study (does NOT apply to minors or concentrations). A DSO can authorize a student to participate in curricular practical training that is an integral part of the established curriculum. The CPT authorization is for a specific position and for a specified amount of time (typically follows semester/term start and end dates).
While there are two types of practical training, the information here relates specifically to Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 8 CFR 124.2(f)(10)(i) defines CPT as “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.”
CPT can take place on-campus or off-campus.
Eligibility and requirements:
To be eligible for CPT, you must:
- Be a F-1 visa holder, in lawful status
- Be a student in good standing. This means you must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and maintain this average throughout your internship experience.
- Student has been enrolled at Concordia for a minimum of a full academic year (2 consecutive semesters),
- Have received a job offer for a position related to their major or area of study
- The CPT experience must be required by and related to your major or area of study
- If student changes employers or experience dates, they must notify Global Learning, and receive an updated I-20 reflecting the change in their CPT authorization (please note CPT cannot be corrected or back-dated in SEVIS)
- CPT experience occurs BEFORE the program end date on I-20
- Requires enrollment and completion of a Concordia College course related to the experience (cooperative education/internship/practicum/research, etc.) within the student’s major
- If a student is authorized for one year of full-time CPT, they become ineligible for post-completion OPT
- CPT can be authorized as full-time (more than 20 hours/week) or part-time (up to 20 hours/week). Full-time CPT is not recommended during the semester, except in special circumstances.
- CPT is authorized one semester at a time and must be re-authorized if the experience will continue into the next semester or term.
- NO training, orientation or other work-related activity may begin BEFORE the CPT authorized start date.
- Each F-1 visa holder at Concordia College can only use a maximum of two PEAKS for purposes of Curricular Practical Training in accordance with the College's degree requirements.
Requesting CPT authorization
- Confirm you have completed at least a full year of study at Concordia and are in good academic standing.
- Discuss an internship/experience with your academic advisor. You must register for a minimum of 1.0 credit. Prevailing tuition fees are charged.
- Choose a faculty coordinator from the department of your major to supervise your work. The faculty member you choose must agree to oversee your internship and approve the terms of your Learning Agreement.
- Register for an internship/experience through Experiences in Handshake, contact Career Center for Handshake related questions.
- Email a copy of the internship/experience offer letter or learning agreement to Global Learning.
- Relevant College offices review and approve your request in Handshake.
- If approved, the Registrar’s Office will register students in an appropriate course related to experience.
- Global Learning will confirm all approvals and registration are in place, then record the CPT authorization on your Form I-20 and print an update I-20.
- Pick up new I-20 from Global Learning Office, sign I-20 and email a signed copy to Global Learning.
- Your employer will typically need to see this notation BEFORE you begin work.
- You may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period approved and recorded on your I-20.
If I am authorized for CPT can I still work on campus?
Yes, you may still work on campus. The number of CPT hours are not counted towards the 20 hours/week limit for on-campus work hours when classes are in session, or the 40 hours/week limit during scheduled school breaks.
Is CPT paid or un-paid?
CPT can be paid or un-paid internship/experience. CPT authorization is required for paid or un-paid internships. CPT authorization is more than just permission to get paid.
Can I do CPT for multiple semesters?
CPT is granted on a 1 semester basis. To extend CPT beyond the current semester, follow the steps in Requesting CPT authorization. An extension of CPT authorization cannot be granted until proof of CPT enrollment for the next term is available.
Can I switch employer during approved CPT period?
CPT is approved for a specific employer, place of employment, and time period. Consult Global Learning prior to a change of employer or extension of training period. Any change to your current period of CPT must be requested at least two weeks in advance. A new CPT application must be completed to obtain a new period of CPT authorization. You are not permitted to work beyond your previously-approved CPT dates until you receive a new I-20 authorizing new or extended CPT dates.
Can I start work-related training/orientation before CPT is authorized?
No employment, training/orientation, or related work activity may be conducted BEFORE I-20 issuance; doing so may mean loss of student status.
Can CPT be extended into Winter Recess?
CPT can continue into Winter Recess, if the student has registered for at least 12 credits for the following Spring semester. Student cannot start CPT in Winter Recess if they only have CPT credit registered and authorized for the following Spring semester.
Can I used more than two PEAKs for CPT?
Academic Catalog, https://catalog.concordiacollege.edu/core-curriculum/integrative-learning-peak-concordia-experience/, states that “Consistent with Concordia’s emphasis on integrative learning, every student seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree is required to complete two intensive integrative learning experiences known as PEAKs (Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge)”. According to F-1 visa regulations, F-1 students may be eligible to seek authorization for practical training to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study (8 CFR 214.2(f)(10). Curricular Practical Training (CPT) can be authorized if it is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT 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. Each F-1 visa holder at Concordia College can only use a maximum of two PEAKS for purposes of Curricular Practical Training in accordance with the College's degree requirements.