Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a structured educational program which combines classroom learning with productive work experience in a field related to a student’s academic program. CPT may be available to F-1 students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis in a U.S. university in the  academic year immediately preceding CPT. The work experience must be integral to your established curriculum.


  • Lawfully enrolled full-time in a U.S. university for at least one academic year (two consecutive long semesters) immediately prior to the semester in which the CPT will take place.
  • Valid F-1 status.
  • Good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduates, 2.0 GPA for undergraduates).
  • Meet all CPT requirements of the UT Dallas Jonsson School Industrial Practice Program (all ECS students) or UT Dallas Career Center (all other students).
  • Have not failed a previous CPT course.
  • No incomplete grades.
  • Have not completed your degree requirements.

Please note: CPT is a possible benefit of F-1 status, not an entitlement. The primary purpose of F-1 status is study, not employment. The ISSO will make determinations of CPT eligibility and has the discretion to authorize CPT where the proposed training satisfies federal regulations and the UTD CPT program. Our goals for student participation in CPT include consistency and program compliance.

Application Process

  • Contact the appropriate internship office for introductory information
  • Obtain a CPT Approval Letter.
  • Submit that CPT Approval Letter and a CPT I-20 Request Form to the ISSO.
  • The ISSO will send you an email when your CPT I-20 is ready for pickup. Processing time is one business day, and requests submitted after 4:00 PM will require an additional day.
  • Pick up the CPT I-20. The authorization information is on page three of the I-20.
  • You are not allowed to work until you have your CPT I-20 and the CPT beginning date has arrived.
  • Your authorization is valid only for the dates and employer listed on the I-20.  If your work dates change or you are asked to return for a second semester you must update your I-20 authorization before continuing.

Reduced Enrollment

  • Part-time CPT requires full-time enrollment at school during any long semester or first semester in a new program.
  • Full-time CPT that lasts at least 11 weeks is considered full-time enrollment for immigration purposes for one long semester per year. In the next long semester you will be required to carry a standard course-load unless approved for reduced enrollment by the ISSO based on another reason, such as a documented medical illness. Note: Check with your academic program to learn if there are additional enrollment limits.

CPT Limits

  • You can have only one CPT at a time.
  • You cannot have a teaching or research assistantship (TA/RA) and a CPT at the same time. This is a UT Dallas Graduate School policy.
  • You will be authorized for no more than 364 days of full time CPT per academic level.  
  • Some UT Dallas academic departments have additional limits on the number of internship credits available to you. Check with the appropriate advisor in your area of study.
  • You cannot have an on-campus job and a CPT at the same time unless they are related.
  • For students obtaining a Change of Level  I-20, the earliest you may be authorized to begin a new CPT is the program start date for the new Change of Level I-20.

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