Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training is used for engaging in all off campus practicum or internships that are integral to the F-1 international student’s academic program.

To be eligible for CPT, employment must be a required, integral part of an academic program’s established curriculum within the student’s course of study. CPT may be approved for part-time or full-time employment, depending on the curriculum requirements. Students must have endorsement from their academic advisor and an offer letter from a curriculum-approved location/site. In general, students must maintain full-time academic enrollment while working on CPT, excluding vacation periods. Using 12 months of full time CPT eliminates eligibility to apply for Optional Practical Training work authorization.

How to apply for Curricular Practical Training?

Prior to the start of practicum/internship, students will need to receive authorization from the Office of Student Services.  Submit the following via email ( or in person to the Office of Student Services (Los Altos campus, office suite C-10, office #5):

  • Letter from Employer – must include start and end dates of employment, job description, hours per week, address of work location and name of supervisor.  A sample letter is provided in the CPT application.
  • A copy of your practicum or internship agreement, complete with all signatures.
  • Curricular Practical Training Application – Student downloads docu-sign application form, completes the top section and gets signature from the PAU Director of Clinical Training or Undergraduate Program Director (for undergrad PSA students).

After receiving these documents, Student Services updates the student record in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and issues a new I-20 Form with a notation that permits the student to engage in CPT.   Students must re-apply for CPT anytime they change employers or extend the length of their employment period.  

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