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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Student Eligibility:
  • Must have maintained full-time enrollment in F1 status for at least one academic year (9 months) prior to CPT. This includes time in F1 status at another school prior to starting at Concordia unless the student has taken a break of 5 months or longer in between schools.
  • Must have an employment or training offer related to your major area of study.
  • Concurrent enrollment courses are not CPT eligible.
Things to Know:
  • CPT start date:
    • Choose a CPT start date that is at least 5 business days in the future from the date you submit your completed CPT request.
    • The CPT start date must be entered in SEVIS and CPT I-20 issued BEFORE starting employment.
    • It is not possible to backdate the CPT start date in SEVIS.
    • Allow 5 business days for CPT authorization processing.
  • Students must be registered full-time while on CPT (except medical or last term RCL).
  • Full-time CPT (more than 20 hours/week) for 12 months at the same level (Bachelor's, Master's, etc.) cancels eligibility for OPT. This includes any CPT done at your level at a school other than Concordia.
  • Part-time CPT (20 or less hours/week) does not affect eligibility for OPT. Students may be authorized for as much part-time CPT as needed for their program.
  • Unpaid internships still require CPT authorization.
  • You must have CPT authorization in SEVIS for each specific job, for the length of that job offer. Each new CPT authorization requires a new CPT authorization form and offer letter.
    • You must notify ISS immediately of any changes to your CPT authorization.
    • CPT may be authorized in SEVIS for 3 terms at a time. You must put in a new CPT request to extend your CPT opportunity.
  • Your faculty advisor will confirm your CPT opportunity is related to your field of study. Allow time to receive their approval before your intended CPT start date.
  • To determine if the opportunity is appropriate for CPT, it must be in your field and at your level. This means that the duties/tasks performed relate to your major. The level required is the level you previously completed or are currently studying at. For example,
    • BA Public Health student, Hospital volunteer? (Yes, in major and at level.)
    • MBA student, Target, Retail/Customer Service Associate. CPT? (No, not at level. Does not require BA or masters.)
    • MBA student, McDonalds, management position. CPT? (Yes, in major and at level as long as BA required and/or masters preferred.)
  • An inappropriate CPT opportunity may jeopardize your eligibility with USCIS for future work benefits such as OPT. 
  • Out-of-state CPT is not allowed during required terms.
    • If your employer is located outside of MN, your work site must be local. This will be noted in your SEVIS record.
CPT Courses:
  • CPT must be taken for credit. This means you must register for the appropriate CPT course in the same term as you are completing your CPT opportunity.
  • You must confirm with your department or academic advisor that you are registered for the appropriate CPT course before beginning work.
    • If your undergraduate program requires an internship, you must be registered for the appropriate internship course. 
    • If your undergraduate program does not have an internship course, you must register for a 1 credit Independent Study course.
    • All graduate students must register for their program's appropriate CPT course or 1 credit Independent Study course.
  • You must keep a copy of your CPT course syllabi. This may be requested by USCIS for future immigration applications such as OPT or H-1B.

How to Apply for CPT/Change Your CPT Employer:
Step 1: Get an offer letter from your CPT site stating title, duties, hours per week, start and end dates of employment, and address of employment.
Step 2: Request the CPT I-20 by clicking the “Apply for CPT Here” button below. When asked to select a semester, choose the semester your CPT will start.
Step 3: ISS will review your application and contact your faculty advisor for CPT approval.
Step 4: ISS will authorize CPT in SEVIS and issue your CPT I-20. CPT must be authorized in SEVIS before you start.



Note: If you have already started a request, do not start a new request. Please go to your User Home Page to continue working on your request.

The information contained in this web site is not intended as, and does not serve as, legal advice. It is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Content is subject to change, and students are advised to consult an experienced U.S. immigration attorney for advice and further information. Neither Concordia University, St. Paul nor the Office of International Student Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.