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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) makes it possible for F-1 students to gain specific practical work experience required or optional in an established degree program. Such training must be an integral part of the curriculum (the student must be receiving academic credit if the training is not a required part of the degree program). CPT provides legal authorization for the F-1 student to be in a work environment whether or not payment of wages is involved. Internships and other work requirements listed in the Drury University catalogs are examples of such programs. Questions concerning the appropriateness of CPT in specific situations should be addressed to an International Support Services (ISS) at 873-7885.

A student must have been in F-1 status for one academic year (9 months) to be eligible for CPT.

CPT is authorized by the ISS office with an endorsement on your I-20 form. No application to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required. The I-20 endorsement provides specific dates for beginning and ending authorization and specifies the employer and site of work. The endorsement must be obtained before work begins. When you have reviewed the instructions and completed the forms, please make an appointment in ISS to process your CPT application.

CPT can be either full-time, which does require at least a minimal enrollment, or part-time (up to 20 hours per week of work), which requires full-time enrollment. Full-time CPT of 12 months or more makes F-1 students ineligible for subsequent Optional Practical Training.

Application Procedures:

  1. Obtain an advisor’s recommendation on the form in the CPT packet, providing required CPT information. Required information includes:
    1. A description of the work experience,
    2. Name of employer,
    3. Beginning and ending dates of employment, and
    4. Explanation of how the experience will be monitored and graded. Upon request, a advisor recommendation form can be e-mailed to adviser from the ISS
  2. An employment offer letter from the employer on company letterhead, indicating the following:
    1. Student’s job duties
    2. Start and end date of employment
    3. Number of hours per week 
    4. Name, title, telephone, and email of employer contact person (supervisor or HR contact)
    5. Physical address where employment will occur

    At this point in the process, please see the ISS office to review your documents.

  3. Upon review and approval of the application, ISS will generate a new Form I-20 with the CPT Authorization.