Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

CPT is employment authorization for an integral part of an established curriculum and must be directly related to a student's major area of study. It may be defined as: alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education (Co-Op) or other type of internship practicum (required or optional). Students must also register for a specific course in their department that fulfills a program requirement.


CPT can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week). Students registered for CPT during a fall/spring semester also must be registered for a full course of study which must include the course required for the CPT. Students engaged in part-time CPT during summer vacation do not need to be registered full-time for classes.

Students must be in legal status which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Possessing a valid passport
  • Registered as a full-time student each fall/spring semester
  • Have been in F-1 student status for at least one full academic year.

To apply for CPT you must be able to respond, "Yes," to the following:

  1. Is your I-20 valid and unexpired?
  2. Does your I-20 list your current field of study and educational level?
  3. Do you have a valid, unexpired passport?
  4. Have you been a full-time student for one full academic year?
  5. Have you been registered full-time every semester you attended UNL?  (Undergraduate students: 12 credit hours; graduate students: 9 credit hours)
  6. If you are a doctoral or thesis-masters student, do you still have required coursework left to complete (not including any thesis or dissertation hours required by your program)?

If you answered "NO" to any of the above questions: Speak with an ISS specialist.

If you answered "yes" to the questions: Download the CPT Packet and have it completed by the appropriate people.

Meet with an ISS Specialist in ISSO during walk-in advising hours and bring the following documents with you:

  • Curricular Practical Training Application: Completed by you
  • Faculty Information and Certification Form: Completed by Academic Advisor/Counselor, Department Head, Dean, or Co-Op Coordinator and sealed in an envelope
  • Memorandum of Understanding filled out and signed by you and your employer
  • Academic Credit Contract filled out and signed by you and the professor of the required course listed on the Faculty Information and Certification Form
  • IF A GRADUATE STUDENT:  Bring a copy of the Memorandum of Courses or Program of Study that has the required course officially added as a required part of your program.
  • Hand in your completed paperwork and ask individual questions.

Allow 10 working days for ISSO to process your CPT paperwork.

You cannot begin employment until the employment start date listed on the 2nd of the new CPT I-20 obtained, if approved, from the ISSO.