COVID-19 Info: Mask Up, Vax Up, Get Tested, Self-Report

Curricular Practical Training CPT

Sign up or Login   CPT Process

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is available to F-1 students who are seeking authorized off-campus employment that is considered an “integral part of an established curriculum.” More information about this process is reviewed during the CPT information sessions held throughout the year.  To receive CPT authorization, you must do all of the following:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements (academic and immigration)
  2. Receive approval from Career Services (CS) OR your academic department
  3. Enroll in the required internship, co-op, or practicum course
  4. Submit the CPT Request Form and documents outlined on form through the ISD Portal. This includes a job offer letter.  The job offer letter should indicate: 
    • Job title
    • Dates of employment (employment should not start before the semester or end after the semester)
    • Average number of work hours per week
    • Location of employment if different from letterhead
    • Salary (if any)
    • Signed and dated by hiring manager

Once you submit your request, an International Student Advisor will review your documentation and make a formal decision.  Please note you cannot begin employment until you receive approval from International Advising and have an updated I-20 reflecting your approval.  If you work before your CPT authorization begins on your I-20 you will have violated the terms of your immigration status.


We recommend that you:

  • Start the process of gaining authorization at least two months prior to your first day of anticipated employment.
  • Check with Career Services about deadlines associated with Co-Op courses.  Check with your academic department about deadlines associated with internships and practicums
  • Complete this process during open registration. Please note that you cannot start your employment (even if approved by your department) until CPT is approved by your International Student Advisor in the SEVIS system.
  • Utilize your resources! Career Services offers assistance with resumes, interview techniques, job searching techniques, etc.
  • The total hours per week for authorized employment (on and off-campus) cannot exceed the amount listed on your I-20. Therefore, students with jobs on-campus and CPT approval need to be aware of the total time they work during each week.
  • Students who are granted full-time CPT are ineligible to work on campus.

Regulatory Restriction

Please note that to work without approval (for another employer, above the authorized hours per week, before your CPT authorization begins, after it has ended, etc.) is a violation of your F-1 status.


  • International Student Services

    Phone: 281-283-2740
    Fax: 281-226-7038

    Bayou Building B2123
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 225
    Houston, TX 77058-1002