Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization directly related to a student’s major field of study. In order to be eligible for CPT a student must receive course credit for the employment or employment must be a required component of the degree program. CPT is work that is temporary in nature. It may not be used as a bridge to full-time, regular employment.

Fast Facts

  • You must complete two consecutive long semesters before you are eligible for CPT. The only exceptions are for:
    • Graduate students enrolled in a program that requires immediate participation in an internship.
    • Students who are transferring from another institution without a break in studies and have been enrolled for two long semesters before enrolling at UT may be eligible for immediate participation in CPT in their first semester at UT Austin.
  • Part-time CPT is classified as 20 hours per week or less. Full-time CPT is more than 20 hours per week. 
  • If you accumulate more than 12 months of full-time CPT you become ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). However, it is recommended you do not exceed 330 days of full-time CPT. Accumulating part-time CPT has no effect on OPT eligibility.
  • CPT authorization is date-specific and employer-specific. This means that you may work only during the authorization dates and for the employer listed on your CPT I-20.
  • You must receive CPT authorization before you begin employment. Working prior to obtaining authorization is a violation of your immigration status.
  • Students who qualify as Sponsored Students must first obtain written approval from their program sponsor before beginning any type of employment.

Steps to Apply

  1. Visit your Academic Advisor

    Visit your academic advisor to find out if you can take a course for credit or if employment is a required component of your degree program.

  2. Ask Your Employer to Complete the Employment Verification Form

    Once you obtain an employment offer, ask your employer to complete the Employment Verification Form or request a letter from your employer - printed on company letterhead - with the following information:

    · The employer/company name

    · A specific start date (mm/dd/yyyy). The start date must be a future date from that date it will be approved

    · A specific end date (mm/dd/yyyy)

    · A job title

    · A brief job description

    · A physical work site address where you will conduct your job

    · Number of hours to be worked per week

    · Letter must be signed by employer

  3. If You Have Any Questions, Schedule an Appointment with an International Student Advisor

    If you have any questions about documents, employment dates, or if you have any other questions about CPT, schedule an appointment with an international student advisor prior to applying for CPT.

  4. Log into myIO

    Once you have your Employment Verification Form or employment letter log into myIO to begin the CPT request process.

  5. Allow sufficient time for approval

    Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for approval. We will prioritize requests by start date. Requests starting within 3 weeks will be expedited.

  6. Begin Work

    After your CPT has been approved by ISSS you will receive a new I-20. On page 2, the I-20 will list the dates and location of your CPT. You cannot begin working until you have received your CPT I-20.

Frequently Asked Questions