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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

General Information:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum, in the student's course of study. Types of CPT work authorization can be internship, cooperative education, or any other employment that is related to the student's degree program. Thus, CPT for F-1 students is intended to provide work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, prior to completion of that program.

Program Qualifications:

In order to be enrolled in the CPT (Co-op) program, the student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (2 semesters) before being eligible for CPT. It is only available to students in valid F-1 status and before the completion of his/her program. Students must meet all program requirements each term including meeting all scheduled deadlines, maintaining the minimum GPA standard of 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students, and notifying both International Student Services (ISS) and the Career Development Center (CDC) of employment. Students not meeting the program requirements will not be allowed to work during that term. All assignments are semester based and changing employers during the semester is not allowed. Students must also maintain health insurance at all times.

Application Procedure:
  • Request a Letter of Eligibility from the International Student Advisor. This letter will be sent to the Career Development Center (CDC) electronically by the International Student Advisor. This can be done at any time and must be done each term you are planning to work.
  • Please email or schedule an appointment with the International Student Advisor to request the Eligibility Letter.
  • Check the CDC website for CPT deadlines. http://www.siue.edu/careerdevelopmentcenter/coop/dates.shtml
  • Register with the CDC
  • Update your Cougar Jobline profile with the CDC.
  • Meet with a CDC counselor for resume approval
  • Attend Co-op Orientation
  • Schedule an appointment with CDC to process all your CPT paperwork
This process should be started as soon as possible to ensure completion by the start of employment term.

Additional CPT Information:
You are authorized to work for specific dates of employment on your I-20. You may not begin before the start date or continue working after the end date. If you expect that you will need to work beyond your end date, you must reapply for CPT and be approved by ISS. If you work beyond the end date, you will be working illegally and could lose future immigration benefits.

Authorization Procedures:

An International Student Advisor will authorize CPT by issuing a new I-20. Processing time is 5-7 business days. You may engage in CPT employment only after you have received the I-20 with work authorization. This work authorization is valid only for the specific employer, location, time period and on a part-time or full-time basis as approved and recorded by an ISS advisor as evidenced on your I-20 issued for CPT.