International Programs and Services

What is Curricular Practical Training?

CPT authorizes F-1 students to participate in temporary employment off campus that directly relates to their studies. CPT is:

  • linked to a specific course
  • includes university credits
  • limited to the specific employer and employment dates listed on your CPT application

You must be authorized by Michigan Tech Career Services and International Programs and Services before you begin CPT. When your request is approved, you receive a new CPT I-20 that shows your permitted work dates and employer. 

The US government only authorizes CPT work for one semester at a time. If you have a multi-semester work opportunity, it is important that you email Career Services one month before the end date of your CPT I-20, so they can work with you to get authorization to continue for another semester.

CPT can be part-time, which is 20 hours per week or less, or full-time, which is anything more than 20 hours.

You Need to Know

If you work more than 364 days of full-time CPT, you lose your eligibility for Optional Practical Training, another kind of employment authorization for F-1 students. Part-time CPT does not count against your OPT eligibility.