F-1 Curricular Practical Training

General Information

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as "employment which is an integral or important part of a student's curriculum, including 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." Thus, CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, prior to completion of that program and the credits earned will count toward the student's degree credits. This means that the proposed employment must be directly related to a student's major.

Types of CPT:

  1. Required by the degree program: Training that is required by the degree program as part of the core requirements always meets the requirements for CPT, regardless of whether or not the student receives academic credit for the work; or
  2. Integral part of the program: Training that is not required by the degree program meets the requirements for CPT if the work is an integral part of the program of study and the student receives academic credit for the employment experience that will be counted toward their degree credit requirements; or
  3. Cooperative Education program: Available to students selected to participate in Wayne State's Cooperative Education Program as offered by Career Services, located on the 1st floor of the Faculty Administration Building (F/AB), Room 1001. 

CPT Eligibility Requirements:

  • The student is currently in valid F-1 status at an SEVP-approved "college, university, conservatory, or seminary"
  • The student is not enrolled in the English Language Institute as students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training
  • The student has been enrolled on a full-time basis for the amount of time required by the regulations
  • The student will continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during CPT. The only exception to this is if the student is in an academic program that requires all students to participate in fulltime internship/practicum/training as a degree requirement or during Spring/Summer term after the completion of one academic year of study
  • CPT cannot be granted to students who have finished their program requirements and who are delaying graduation to make use of CPT
  • The internship may not begin earlier than the first day classes of the semester and must end no later than the last day of the term for which CPT is granted. Furthermore, since the internship is considered an integral part of a for-credit university course, CPT cannot be authorized after the academic add/drop period has ended. The last day for CPTauthorization each semester is identified on the Registrar's website as the Census Date/Enrollment Confirmation Deadline and is calculated as the 10th day of each term.

Make an appointment and bring the following to OISS:

Complete required paperwork/documents and turn in to OISS no later than 5-10 business days before employment begins. CPT must be authorized before employment begins.

   1 . Passport and Form I-94;
   2. Form I-20;

  • Completed Form "Curricular Practical Training Recommendation " (attached); and
  • Letter of offer from the employer on the employer 's official letterhead with original signature.

Upon reviewing the items above, an OISS advisor will prepare a new SEVIS I-20 with the CPT endorsement on the employment page. This endorsement serves as your authorization to work for a pre-determined amount of time. The student may engage in Curricular Practical Training upon receipt of the endorsed Form I-20 ID from the advisor in OISS. The recommendation form from the faculty advisor or department chair will be placed in your file in OISS.


  • Although authorized part-time (20 hours or less per week) CPT employment is permitted with no penalties until completion of a degree, students who have received 12 months or more of full-time (21 hours or more per week) CPT are ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which is typically used immediately after graduation.
  • CPT is authorized on a semester basis. Should you require additional time past your current CPT end date, you will need to reapply.
  • You are authorized to work for specific dates of employment on your I-20. You may not begin before the start date or continue working after the end date. If you expect that you will need to work past your end date, you must reapply for CPT and be approved by OISS. If you work past the end date, you will be working illegally and could lose future immigration benefits.