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 certain F-1 students.

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.

CPT workshops are MANDATORY for all students applying for Curricular Practical Training beginning October 15, 2018. Students must attend an in-person ISSO workshop. Computer Science and Engineering students must attend an IPP orientation. Naveen Jindal School of Management students must enroll in MAS 6102 to meet this requirement.

Fall 2018

Earliest CPT employment start date : Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018

Latest CPT employment end date for:

  • Continuing students : Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019
  • Students graduating in Fall 2018* : Monday, Dec. 17, 2018

Spring 2019

Earliest CPT employment start date : Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Latest CPT employment end date for:

  • Continuing students : Wednesday, May. 22, 2019
  • Students graduating in Spring 2019* : Saturday, May 11, 2019

CPT Eligibility

Basic eligibility for CPT has the following requirements:

  • 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 at the time of CPT application.
  • Currently enrolled in an internship class
  • Good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduates, 2.0 GPA for undergraduates). If good standing is not maintained, CPT authorization will be canceled.
  • 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.
  • Must have completed at least one semester at UT Dallas
  • Have not completed your degree requirements.

Unpaid Internships

CPT authorization is required for F-1 students even where the internship is unpaid. Students who engage in unpaid activities that would constitute‘employment’ under labor laws will be considered to be ‘employed.’ If an unpaid internship is not covered by an authorization such as CPT or OPT, F-1 students are risking their immigration status.

CPT Application Process

  • Contact the appropriate internship office for introductory information and to obtain CPT approval
  • Attend a CPT workshop
  • Enroll in the appropriate CPT class
  • IPP students will have their CPT approval forwarded to ISSO
  • All other students must navigate to iComet
    • 1. Log in using your NetID and password
    • 2. From the iComet Services Home Page, navigate to the left hand side menu
    • 3. Select F-1 Practical Training
    • 4. Select CPT Request
    • 5. Complete the eForm
      • Select Yes or No if you have attended a CPT Workshop
      • Enter your required CPT course Prefix and Number
      • Are you graduating this semester, select Yes or No
      • Enter the semester and year that you are requesting CPT
      • Enter the start date
      • Enter the end date
      • Select Part Time or Full Time
      • Do you need a Social Security Card, select Yes or No
      • Enter your employer's Company Name
      • Enter the Company's street address
      • Enter the Company City
      • Select the Company State
      • Enter the Company Zip Code
      • Is the company address and your work site location the same, select Yes or No
        • If No, enter Work Site street address
        • Enter Work Site City
        • Select Work Site State
        • Enter Work Site Zip Code
    • 6. Select Submit

  • A $100 Practical Training Fee will be assessed when the CPT is processed.
  • Processing time is one business day for all approvals received before 4:00 pm and two business days for all approvals received after 4:00 pm
  • The ISSO will send you an email when your CPT I-20 is ready for pickup
  • Pick up the CPT I-20. The authorization information is on page two of the I-20.Verify all information is correct
  • Provide ISSO with a copy of your signed CPT I-20 for our records   

CPT and Enrollment

  • CPT courses are considered to be ‘face-to-face’
  • You must enroll in an approved CPT class and obtain academic credit for CPT participation
  • Part-time CPT (20 hours or less per week) requires full-time enrollment at school during any long semester or first semester in a new program
  • Full-time CPT (More than 20 hours per week)
    ○ Undergraduate - Full-time enrollment required in Fall and Spring.
    ○ Graduate - 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.

Full-Time CPT Calculator

If you have more than 364 days of full-time CPT, you lose eligibility for OPT. This calculator will help you calculate the total days of full-time CPT that you have accrued at your current degree level.

To begin, please enter the number of separate CPT authorizations you have had and hit Enter.

Number of CPT's:

CPT Limitations

  • Employment must be directly related to major and degree
  • Authorization is only valid once it is indicated on your I-20
  • Continued employment is not permitted after completion of degree requirements (regardless of graduation date). The program completion date is the last day of the finals period for the graduating semester, unless completing studies based on defense of dissertation or thesis
  • If you have more than 364 days of full-time CPT, you lose eligibility for OPT. Use our calculator to find the total number of full-time CPT days you have accrued.

Additional Resources While Working in the U.S.