Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training, as defined by USCIS, must be an “an integral part of an established curriculum.” As such, CPT is work experience which is required to complete one’s degree program and must offer credit that will count towards a student’s degree requirements. This may, but will not always, include internships, cooperative education programs, thesis research or independent study. Note: the distinction between “Optional Practical Training” and “Curricular Practical Training” is that the former enhances or enriches an academic experience, while the latter is required to meet the academic or curricular degree requirements. 

  • There is no time limitation for Curricular Practical Training, but a student who participates in full-time CPT for 12 or more months is not eligible for OPT at the same degree level.
  • Note: USCIS defines “part- time” employment as 20 hours per week or less and “full-time” employment as anything over 20 hours per week.

If you are applying for Curricular Practical Training please submit:

  • “Employer's Certification for CPT Authorization" online form, completed and signed by your employer through the online portal below.
  • “Academic Official's Certification for Curricular Practical Training” form, completed and signed by your academic adviser through the online portal below.
  • An unofficial transcript (downloaded from the web is fine) that bears your name and includes the course or research credit(s) covering your CPT.
  • All above forms and transcript can be uploaded and submitted online through the CPT Application. 
    • Please login to the CPT application with your UNCW credentials.

Curricular Practical Training Authorization Process:

  • If all of the aforementioned forms are submitted online, your international student adviser will authorize your CPT, submitting it to SEVIS and printing out the CPT authorization on a new I-20. Once you receive this new I-20 you are authorized for CPT.