Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to gain practical training experience that is authorized as an "integral part of an established curriculum". Such training is defined as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." CPT may be part-time or full-time.

If you plan to engage in CPT, you should discuss your plans at least two weeks in advance with the International Student Advisor.

Eligiblity for CPT

As an F-1 student, you may engage in CPT if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have been lawfully enrolled in school full-time for at least one full academic year.
  • Your proposed training is directly related to your major/minor field of study.
  • Your academic program requires an internship experience OR you will earn college credit toward your major from your training experience.
  • You meet criteria of eligibility proposed by your academic department (e.g. class standing, minimum GPA).

Applying for CPT

  1. Check that the major stated on your I-20 is correct and matches the major declared with the Hiram College Registrar. If your major is incorrect, you will need a new I-20. Please see the International Student Advisor for details. Allow sufficient time to process the change of program on your I-20.
  2. Make an appointment with the International Student Advisor to discuss your eligibility and the application requirements for CPT.
  3. Meet with your Faculty Advisor regarding departmental internship requirements.
  4. Secure an internship opportunity through your academic department, Career Services, or on your own efforts.
  5. Request an internship offer letter from your internship site supervisor. The letter must include: 
    1. Your name,
    2. Job title,
    3. A brief description of your proposed duties,
    4. Beginning date of training (this date must be a future date),
    5. Ending date of training,
    6. Hours per week (full time or part time),
    7. Location of employment (street address, city and state),
    8. Name and contact information for the employer (supervisor's business card is preferred)
    9. Printed on letterhead and containing original signature.
  6. Meet with your Faculty Advisor to complete the Curricular Practical Training Recommendation Form and course add slip.
  7. Register for the designated departmental course and request a photocopy of the signed add slip.
  8. Make an appointment with the International Student Advisor and bring the following items:
    1. CPT Recommendation Form
    2. Internship Offer Letter
    3. Photocopy of the course registration form
    4. Internship course syllabus or course description from your department
    5. Prior I-20's and passport

When all documentation is in order, you will receive a new I-20 with the CPT authorization on page 3.

Please note: You may not begin employment until the Form I-20 with CPT authorization is in your hand.

While participating in CPT

  • CPT is authorized one semester at a time to verify continued eligibility.
  • Do not begin training until your I-20 is endorsed and in your hand.
  • You are authorized to work with the company, at the location, and during the dates stated on page 3 of your I-20.  If any of these details will change, you and your faculty advisor must notify the International Student Services office in writing to alter the conditions of your authorization.  Your form I-20 must be updated and in your hands BEFORE you may begin training under the new parameters.
  • Withdrawing or dropping credits that are tied to CPT authorization immediately voids the CPT authorization.
  • You are still in F-1 student status while on CPT and must continue to notify the International Student Services office of changes to your address, program, or financial information.
  • You may travel into and out of the US while on CPT provided you have your I-20 signed by the International Student Advisor each semester.

Please note: If you participate in 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are NOT eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) following graduation.

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Office for International Student Services

Nicole Gatrell

International Student Advisor (PDSO)

Office Location: Kennedy Center, 1st floor
Phone: +1.330.569.5388
Fax: +1.330.569.5183
Email: