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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

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COVID-19 Update: In order to further enforce social distancing measures and the safety of the Tulane community, we ask that if you plan on applying for CPT please submit your completed documents via e-mail in PDF format to oiss@tulane.edu. Please allow about 5 business days for a response given the current situation.

What is Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a work authorization available to F-1 students to engage in paid or unpaid training opportunities off campus. The training must be an integral or important part of your program’s curriculum. CPT is only available to F-1 students during their program, and cannot be used after the completion of the program. Students interested in CPT should read all requirements below, then meet with their academic advisor to discuss whether CPT is available in their program.

CPT Instructions and Application PDF

Training Eligibility Requirements

To apply for CPT, you must have a written offer for a specific training position. The training must be an integral or important part of your program of study. It also must meet one of the requirements below:

  • If the training is a required training by your program (Required in this case means that all students in your current program must acquire off-campus work experience related to their field during the course.)
  • If the training is not required by your program, you must receive academic credit for the training. This requires enrollment in a specific course that is a part of your degree program, identified by your academic advisor.

Student Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for CPT, you must maintain lawful F-1 status, and you must complete two semesters as a full-time student. However, if you are a graduate student and the training is a required part of your program, you may begin CPT whenever your program requires participation, even if it is immediately at the beginning of the program.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time CPT

Part-Time Training: Employment for 20 hours or less per week while you are also enrolled for classes is considered part-time CPT. The employment authorization on your I-20 will specify permission to engage in part-time training, and you must be careful to limit your work to no more than 20 hours per week. There is no limitation on the length of time you may participate in part-time CPT but you must be enrolled full-time in school (unless it is summer vacation) during your training in order to maintain lawful F-1 status. Participation in part-time CPT does not affect your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Full-Time Training: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time CPT. The employment authorization on your I-20 will specify permission to engage in full-time training. While in full-time training, you do not need to be enrolled full-time in classes in order to maintain lawful F-1 status. However, you must still receive academic credit for each semester of full-time CPT. There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in full-time CPT, but if you participate for 12 months or more you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

CPT Application Forms

For CPT application instructions and forms, follow this link: https://tulane.app.box.com/v/cpt 

CPT applications are processed by the OISS, and take about one week after the student submits all the required documents. Students approved for CPT will receive an I-20 printed with their authorized training dates and hours. Students cannot work before or after these authorized dates. Students may be granted multiple CPT authorizations during their program.


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