CPT for International Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

For international students who wish to have employment experiences such as internships and cooperative education with employers and organizations, curricular practical training (CPT) authorization is required.

CPT is employment authorization for an integral part of an established curriculum and must be directly related to a student’s major area of study. It may be defined as: alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education (Co-Op) or other type of internship practicum (required or optional). Students are also required to register for a specific course in their department that fulfills a program requirement.

CPT can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week). Students registered for CPT during a fall/spring semester also must be registered for a full course of study which must include the course required for the CPT. Students engaged in part-time CPT during summer vacation do not need to be registered full-time for classes.

For students who wish to apply for CPT authorization, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Set up a meeting with an ISS specialist or meet during walk-in advising hours in ISSO to make sure you understand the requirements and process.
  2. Download the CPT Packet.
  3. Meet with your academic advisor to identify the course you will take while in your experience and enroll.
  4. Obtain the Memorandum of Understanding and Academic Credit Contract.
  5. Complete the all of required forms and submit them to ISSO.
  6. Submit a copy of the MOU and ACC above to Career Services.
  • Curricular Practical Training Application: Completed by you
  • Faculty Information and Certification Form: Completed by Academic Advisor/Counselor, Department Head, Dean, or Co-Op Coordinator and sealed in an envelope
  • Memorandum of Understanding: Filled out and signed by you and your employer
  • Academic Credit Contract: Filled out and signed by you and the professor of the required course listed on the Faculty Information and Certification Form
  • IF A GRADUATE STUDENT: Bring a copy of the Memorandum of Courses or Program of Study that has the required course officially added as a required part of your program.

IMPORTANT: CPT can take 10 or more business days to process in ISSO. It is essential that students applying for CPT do so as far in advance as possible to ensure they are authorized to work by the start of their employment. As soon as you get an offer, begin the process to ensure you can start your experience at the date appointed by your employer. You cannot begin employment until the employment start date listed on the 2nd of the new CPT I-20 obtained, if approved, from the ISSO.

Students must be in legal status which includes, but is not limited to:

    • Possessing a valid passport
    • Registered as a full-time student each fall/spring semester
    • Have been in F-1 student status for at least one full academic year.

To apply for CPT you must be able to respond, “Yes,” to the following:

    1. Is your I-20 valid and unexpired?
    2. Does your I-20 list your current field of study and educational level?
    3. Do you have a valid, unexpired passport?
    4. Have you been a full-time student for one full academic year?
    5. Have you been registered full-time every semester you attended UNL? (Undergraduate students: 12 credit hours; graduate students: 9 credit hours)
    6. If you are a doctoral or thesis-masters student, do you still have required coursework left to complete (not including any thesis or dissertation hours required by your program)?

If you answered “NO” to any of the above questions: Speak with an ISS specialist.

If you answered “yes” to all of the questions: Download the CPT Packet and have it completed by the appropriate people.