Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

School Work Balance


Who? F-1 status students

What? CPT is a benefit that allows off-campus employment in the student's field of study, when it is a required component of their curriculum.

When? Some students do not engage in CPT during their studies, but many others do take advantage of this benefit. CPT at UNCP is done on a semester by semester basis. 


Eligibility requirements:

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time for at least nine months (two consecutive semesters) and be in F-1 status
  • Students must have completed at least one semester in their current curriculum at UNCP
  • Students must be maintaining lawful F-1 status
  • Students must be in good academic standing (students whose academic programs are listed as suspended, terminated, probation or warning are not eligible for CPT)
  • Students must be making normal progress toward their degree 
  • Students must obtain the recommendation of their Undergraduate Advisor
  • Students applying for full-time summer CPT must register for subsequent Fall semester coursework prior to submitting CPT material to the Office of Global Engagement
  • CPT cannot delay or interfere with the student's progress in the degree program


Full-time or Part-time?

Part-time (<20 hours per week) CPT is possible for eligible students (concurrent full-time enrollment is required in the Fall and Spring semesters).

Full-time CPT during the Fall or Spring semester will only be authorized if the CPT is a required or integral part of the student's degree program.

International students are limited to a combined total of 20 hours of employment during the academic year (inclusive of on-campus and any CPT). Students may be eligible for employment beyond 20 hours per week during the academic year if the CPT is justified because it is a standard requirement of the academic program. On campus employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week during the academic year.


Application Process:

  • Make an appointment with an immigration advisor in the Office of Global Engagement to discuss the possibility of applying for CPT.
  • If you need help finding a position or would like to improve your interviewing skills, resume or want to learn about the expectations of American employers, we recommend that you schedule an appointment at the Career Center.

Once you secure an internship, please complete these steps:

  1. Review the offer letter you have received and make sure you have the following items in writing from your employer: 
    (1) Job title
    (2) job description
    (3) salary
    (4) the number of hours you will work per week
    (5) your start date
    (6) your end date
    (7) the specific work location (the address where you will work).
    If you do not have all of these details, you will not be authorized for CPT.
  2. Read the entire CPT Information Packet and complete the F-1 Student Application for CPT.
  3. Submit your offer letter and the F-1 Student Application for CPT to your Academic Advisor and ask them the complete the Academic Advisor's Recommendtaion Form for CPT.
  4. Give the CPT Supplemental Form to your future employer and ask them to complete it and give it back to you or to submit it directly to the OGE office.
  5. A Global Engagement advisor will review your application materials, and, if your application is approved, you will receive your work authorization documents within 10 business days. The OGE office will e-mail you to pick up your work authorization documents when they are ready.

CPT Application

Extension of CPT

Students who are eligible for and would like to request an extension of a current CPT (i.e. an additional few days or weeks within the same semester) for the same employer (nothing has changed except the new ending date) should ask the employer to e-mail OGE confirming the new end date and that the student's job title and description have not changed.

Students who are eligible for and would like to request a second rotation or additional semester of CPT should complete the CPT application materials again. 

Note: Students on an approved CPT are not eligible to continue working beyond the end date of the CPT authorization as indicated on the their I-20. It is the student's responsibility to request the extension of a current CPT in a timely manner.


Additional Information
Time spent doing CPT is not subtracted from the 12 month maximum period of OPT (Optional Practical Training), but students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for any OPT.

Students who engage in off-campus employment without obtaining CPT authorization; who work before or after the approved dates on the CPT authorization; or who work for a different employer will be considered to have engaged in unlawful employment.

In order to accept salary or wage payment from U.S.-based source, you should obtain a Social Security Number.