CPT - Coastal Carolina University
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Curricular Practical Training

CPT allows F-1 students to accept off-campus employment as part of the curriculum of their degree program. CPT is required for all off campus internships, paid or unpaid, and MUST be directly related to the student's major.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work training that is an integral part of an established curriculum, this includes: “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”  


To be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), a student must:

  • Be a degree-seeking student on an F-1 visa
  • Have completed at least one academic year (a fall and a spring semester). The summer session does not count toward one academic year. If your degree program requires employment authorization before you have met the academic year requirement, please see an immigration advisor
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Be enrolled in internship credit or its equivalent
  • You must be maintain full-time enrollment in all required semesters in order to maintain lawful F-1 status
  • Employment must be directly related to your major.  CPT cannot be authorized for work related to a minor.

Part time vs. Full time CPT

Part-time CPT:
  • Employment for less than 20 hours per week
  • No limitation on the length of time you can participate in part-time CPT
Full-time CPT:
  • Employment for 20 hours or more per week
  • Warning - 12 months or more of full-time CPT will invalidate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Authorization Dates

CPT is authorized one semester at a time and enrollment in an internship course is required in each semester of CPT authorization.  The dates of the internship and the CPT authorization should fall within the dates of the semester of the internship course. It is important that all internship work be done within the dates of CPT authorization listed on page two of the I-20. Program extensions will not be granted for the purpose of CPT.

General CPT Date Requirements:

  • Fall/Spring
    • Earliest Date: First day of classes
    • Lastest Date: Last day of final exams
  • Summer (internship course enrollment can be in any of the summer terms)
    • Earliest Date: First day of classes for Maymester
    • Latest Date: Last day of final exams for Summer II

Note: Exceptions may be possible within clear, academically based parameters and require prior approval by the department and by a DSO. The start date cannot be before the end of the previous semester without enrollment in an internship course in that semester.  Authorization cannot extend beyond the end of the semester unless CPT and related enrollment will continue in the subsequent semester.

Application Procedure

CPT Applications should be submitted as early as possible and at least two weeks prior to the intended employment start date.  Employment cannot begin before the CPT is authorized in SEVIS.

Step 1 - Prepare the following documents:

  1. Self-Service printout of your class schedule showing enrollment in internship credits
  2. Offer of employment written on the company's letterhead, addressed to you, and including the following information:
    • Name of company
    • Employment address (street, city, state, and zip code)
    • Job title
    • Job description
    • Number of hours expected to work each week
    • Exact dates of CPT employment
    • Supervisor’s name and contact information

Step 2 – Submit the CPT Request Form in your CCU International Student Portal

    • You will be asked for contact information for an "Approver" in the CPT Request in your International Student Portal account.
      • This should be your internship coordinator or an advisor that has knowledge of your program, the internship course, and the position. 
      • They will be asked to confirm that the course will meet a degree requirement and that the position is directly related to your major. 
      • They will automatically be sent an email when you submit your request.  They will access the request and make the confirmation directly in your portal account. 

Step 3 – Once your application has been approved by a DSO, your new CPT I-20 will be created.  You will receive an email when your CPT I-20 is ready to access from your CCU International Student Portal.