Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Undergraduate Student

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

CPT is a temporary employment authorization that is “an integral part of an established curriculum” and “directly relates to an F-1 student’s major area of study” in an off-campus setting. It is granted by the office of International Student & Scholar Services (ISS) with the chief purpose of achieving a curricular objective. CPT includes alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. CPT is not an entitled benefit.

Am I eligible to apply for CPT?

You are eligible for CPT if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a matriculated student in good, legal F-1 immigration status at the University of Utah
  • Have held legal F-1 student status for two full time consecutive semesters while attending an accredited college or university in the United States
  • Have a job offer that is related to your field of study and is an integral part of your degree program

How do I maintain my CPT eligibility?

Part-Time CPT:

  • Work 20 hours or less per week
  • Simultaneously enrolled as a full-time student (taking at least 12 credit hours)
  • Registered for a practicum course within your major department or for credit through Career Services

Full-Time CPT:

  • Work between 21 and 40 hours per week
  • Allowed ONLY during vacation semester and university breaks; the semester you graduate is not considered a vacation semester
  • Contact International Student & Scholar Services if you wish to work full-time during any other time period.

How do I apply for CPT through International Student Scholar Services?

  1. Attend a CPT workshop/meet with an ISS Adviser to discuss CPT.
  2. Discuss employment opportunity with employer and obtain job offer letter. For Undergraduate business students, you also must complete “Eccles Internships for academic credit” online application.
  3. Meet with your departmental academic advisor to discuss the CPT request and the course you will be adding.
  4. Log into i-Start and complete the CPT request through https://istart.ic.utah.edu
    1. Upload:
      1. I-20
      2. Signed offer letter from your employer on company letterhead
  5. Your academic advisor submits the CPT adviser form online (they can only submit this after you have completed and submitted your portion of the CPT request)
  6. For Undergraduate business students, your advisor enrolls stundet in appropriate class. Other advisors will provide you with next steps for class registration. 
  7. ISS receives CPT request and evaluates the CPT request for approval or denial. Please note: ISS will not receive your CPT application until you AND your adviser have completed your portion.

When can I start working?

CPT processing time can take up to 2 weeks. If it is approved, they will issue you a new CPT I-20 form. Allow adequate time for your CPT request to be finalized before you plan to start working. Please keep in mind your application is not considered submitted to ISS until both you and your advisor have submitted your portions of the e-form. You are not allowed to start working until you receive the I-20 with the work authorization.