Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Guidelines

CPT is a benefit of F-1 status that permits off-campus employment only if it is necessary to fulfill one of the following academic objectives:

  • A course offered in the University of Evansville course catalog for which a student will earn academic credit.
  • A University of Evansville cooperative education (co-op) program or required non-credit internship/practicum.
  • If working on a thesis or final project, the work must contribute substantially to the final paper or project.

Employment that offers "excellent" or "relevant" experience to a student's field of study, but does not meet one of the objectives listed above, does not qualify for CPT.


You are eligible for CPT after you have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis in a degree program for one full academic year and are currently in F-1 status.  Exception: Graduate students in F-1 status are exempt from the one full academic year requirement only if their graduate program requires immediate participation in CPT. Written communication from an academic advisor or the chair of the department is required.

Part-time or Full-time CPT

CPT can be authorized during the academic year or during the summer, but must be specified as either part-time or full-time.

Important: There is no limit to CPT. However, if you are authorized for a total of 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training.

Part-time CPT is for employment that only requires 20 hours (or fewer) of work per week. You are required to register for a full-time credit load if you engage in part-time CPT during the Fall or Spring semester, but part-time CPT does not affect your eligibility for Optional Practical Training. 

Full-time CPT is for employment that will require more than 20 hours of work per week and is usually associated with Cooperative Education. You are not required or allowed to enroll in other courses if you are engaged in full-time CPT during the Fall or Spring semester, but you must be registered for Coop 090-093, coordinated through the Center for Career Development.

To Apply for CPT, Students Should:

  1. Meet with their academic advisor, and explain that in order to be authorized to work off-campus, international students must be registered for a course which is connected to the work. The advisor should guide the student in finding a suitable internship and in choosing a course which would qualify for Curricular Practical Training.
  2. Once offered a job, get written confirmation from the prospective employer. The job offer letter must be on company letterhead and must include description of work, location (city and state) of work, start and end dates of employment (if you have questions, contact Center for Career Development), and number of hours of work per week.
  3. Request a letter from the academic advisor which must include the course number of the internship or class connected with the work, information on how the work will contribute to/fulfill requirements of a course (it is not enough for the work to simply "relate" to the course), and a description of the employment offered including beginning and ending dates, the location of the job (city and state) and the number of hours per week of work.
  4. Submit your I-20, job letter and advisor letter (or form) to International Student Engagement and Services at least one week prior to starting work for review and processing. At this time you will be asked to show your passport and I-94 card.
  5. Complete a practical training information sheet, available at the Office of International Student Engagement and Services.

Social Security:

Social Security (FICA) should not be withheld for the wages of an F-1 student participating in Curricular Practical Training if the student is classified as a non-resident for tax purposes. Earnings are, however, still subject to federal, state, and local taxes.

For more information regarding CPT Eligibility please contact:

International Student Engagement and Services
Ridgway University Center , 812-488-2279

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