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International Student Services


F-1 Employment: Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training is one type of off-campus work authorization that you may be eligible for if you are an F-1 student. CPT Applications are not available on our website, because we want to talk to you in order to determine your CPT eligibility and the type that fits your situation. Please watch the online workshop, below, or come to an in-person workshop for more information about CPT. After attending a workshop, we can assist you during our walk-in hours.

Please note:

In order to see an advisor about Curricular Practical Training, you will first need to watch our online workshop or attend an in-person workshop. See the right-hand column for information about both types of workshops.

In order to be authorized for Curricular Practical Training, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have been fully enrolled as a student for at least one academic year (nine months).
  2. Your graduation cannot be delayed due to your Curricular Practical Training.
  3. The proposed employment must be an integral part of your program of study. CPT must be very closely related to your academic work. Please see the options below to learn more about how CPT can work for you.
  4. You need to have an offer of employment.
  5. You need to meet with an International Student Advisor in order to obtain a CPT application.
  6. After completing the CPT application, you need a new Form I-20, which your international student advisor will provide to you.
  7. During the fall and spring semesters, you can only work 20 hours per week total, on-campus and off-campus combined. The only exception to this is if you have an approved exemption from full-time enrollment.

Types of Curricular Practical Training at USC:

Course Requirement CPT

You may be eligible for Course Requirement CPT if:
  • You have a mandatory internship course in your program.
  • You are enrolled in a credit-bearing elective that requires practical experience as part of the course.
  • The course in which you will be enrolled is during the same semester of your employment.

Degree Requirement CPT

You may be eligible for Degree Requirement CPT if:
  • You must do an internship in order to graduate, but there is no required internship course attached to the employment.

Dissertation Research CPT

You may be eligible for Dissertation Research CPT if:
  • In order to write your dissertation, you need to collect data through an off-campus work experience.
  • You will be enrolled in dissertation prep hours for the entirety of your off-campus work experience.
  • You are NOT in your final semester of study. (Dissertation prep CPT is not permitted during your final semester.)

Community Internship Program CPT

You may be eligible for Community Internship Program CPT if:
  • You have set up your internship opportunity with one of the Experiential Educators in the Career Center
  • You must be registered for the Community Internship Program (CIP) by the Add/Drop date of classes each semester.

Cooperative Education CPT

You may be eligible for Cooperative Education (Co-op) CPT if:

  • You have spoken with the Career Center and set upyour internship through the Co-op Program.
  • You must be registered for the Co-op Program by the Add/Drop date of classes each semester.