Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows you to engage in an internship, practicum, or cooperative education program (generally off-campus) that is a required or integral part of the curriculum in your department. If you are authorized for CPT, you will be eligible to work in a specific internship or practicum for a specific period of time.

Unlike Optional Practical Training (OPT), CPT is authorized by the Office of International Services (OIS), not US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your CPT application is approved, you will receive a new I-20 within 7 business days with employment authorization on the second page. You must present this I-20 to your employer as proof of employment eligibility before beginning work. Students must attend an CPT informational workshop before requesting CPT authorization.

Are You Eligible for CPT?

Students in valid F-1 status are generally eligible to apply for CPT if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Have been enrolled full-time in a USCIS-certified school in lawful nonimmigrant status for 9 months (3 terms).

  2. Are currently engaged in a degree-seeking academic program, or a structured non-degree program that is part of an established OSU curriculum.

  3. Your proposed internship is either a required or integral part of the established curriculum for your program, for which you will receive academic credit.

Students may not begin an internship until they have received the appropriate CPT authorization from OIS. Your CPT application will be processed in 7 business days. CPT may only be authorized prior to the completion of studies, and may not be authorized after a recommendation for OPT has been issued. If you anticipate beginning an internship near the end of your program, or if you will need to extend a current CPT authorization, you should submit your CPT application before requesting a recommendation for OPT.

Required vs. Integral

CPT may be authorized for an internship that is either a required or integral part of your academic program.

  • Required = must be completed by all students in a degree program and is generally listed on the program of study.

  • Integral = not specifically required by the degree program, but may be highly encouraged by your academic advisor or necessary for you to learn specific skills or gather research.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time

CPT may be authorized for either full-time or part-time employment, and is currently given independent of any current on-campus work authorization, including graduate assistantships.

  • Part-time = up to 20 hours per week

  • Full-time = more than 20 hours per week

Application Process

Step 1. Attend a CPT Workshop

Complete the online CPT workshop online. Workshops are available in the Office of International Services Canvas Course. If you have additional questions feel free to come in to see an Advisor.

Step 2. Meet with your Academic Advisor

Once you have identified an internship which you are interested in applying for, meet with your academic advisor to discuss how the internship will fit into your academic program and course registration requirements. If your academic advisor determines that it qualifies as an integral or required part of your academic program, they will need to complete a portion of the CPT Authorization Request Form.

Step 3. Gather & Submit Materials to OIS

An International Student Advisor will review your application to determine if you meet all eligibility requirements. If your application is complete and contains all required documentation, a CPT-endorsed I-20 will be issued within 7 business days. This new I-20 will serve as proof of employment eligibility, which you must show to your employer before beginning your internship.

It is important that you plan ahead and allow adequate time for OIS to process your application before your desired internship start date. There is no fee or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) required for internships authorized under CPT.

Other Factors to Consider

Registration Requirements

You must continue to meet the full-time registration requirement to maintain your F-1 visa status while on CPT unless you are approved for alternate enrollment.

During a summer or approved vacation term, you must register for at least 1 credit for CPT, even though you would normally not be required to register.


CAUTION: Completing 12 months or more of full-time CPT makes you INELIGIBLE for OPT at that level. Part-time CPT and amounts less than 12 months of full-time CPT do not impact OPT eligibility.

Extension/Shortening of CPT Authorization

If your employer would like to extend your internship beyond the dates of original authorization, submit another complete CPT application to OIS at least 10 days prior to the new requested start date.

Please send an updated offer letter to update the dates of your CPT authorization (prior to completion of internship) if you will be employed for less time than the original time requested. Any period of full-time CPT authorization listed in your record will count towards the 12-month total that disqualifies you from applying for OPT, regardless of whether you engaged in employment during that time.