Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum for a program of study.

Types of CPT

Degree Requirement

A degree program that requires completion of an internship or work experience to complete degree requirements. This requirement must be in the UCI catalog as a degree requirement.

Course Credit

A course that requires completion of an internship or work experience in order to complete course requirements. Internships must be concurrent with course enrollment.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time CPT

Part-time CPT

During the quarter all students are required to work part-time while on CPT. Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time. Filing Fee Status (for graduate students) does not allow participation in CPT.

Full-time CPT

During the vacation periods (Winter, Spring, Summer break) F-1 students may choose to work full-time.Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time. If you participate in a total of 12 months of full-time CPT during your academic program, you will not be eligible for OPT. Please note that part-time CPT does not count towards your 12 months of full-time CPT.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Valid F-1 immigration status
  • Full-time enrollment for three consecutive quarters
  • Have a job offer related to your field of study/major
  • Enroll in a course during the quarter you plan to participate in CPT (if required for a course)
  • Obtain CPT authorization BEFORE beginning your employment; authorization cannot be backdated.

Determining When to Apply for CPT

CPT will be authorized only during the sessions listed below. CPT cannot begin before the quarter start date listed below, and must end, on or before the listed quarter end date. The deadlines below are the dates an application must be submitted to the International Center in order to begin CPT by the first day of the quarter. If an application is submitted after the deadline below, CPT approval in the form of an updated I-20 will not be ready by the quarter start date, but will be accepted for review/approval. Internships that span over the course of multiple quarters will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Quarter/Session You Must Be Enrolled InDeadline to Submit CPT Application to IC (to start by the first day of the quarter) :CPT Must Begin On/Or After:CPT Must End By:
Fall 2017 9/14/2017 9/25/2017 12/15/2017
Winter 2018 12/14/2017 1/3/2018 3/23/2018
Spring 2018 3/16/2018 3/28/2018 6/15/2018
Summer Session I 6/12/2018 6/25/2018 8/1/2018
Summer Session 10-Week 6/12/2018 6/25/2018 8/31/2018
Summer Session I & II (recommended for 12 week internships) 6/12/2018 6/25/2018 9/14/2018
Summer Session II 7/19/2018 8/6/2018 9/12/2018


Preparing Your CPT Application

  • Review the CPT Tutorial
  • Speak with your academic counselor/advisor to select the appropriate course to participate in CPT.
  • Complete the CPT Application
  • Attach the following items to your application:
    • Proof of enrollment for the quarter you wish to participate in CPT
    • Copy of job offer letter from employer, the letter must include:
      • Company’s letterhead
      • Be addressed to you
      • Job title
      • Job description
      • Location of employment
      • Specify if work is part-time/full-time
      • Specify the exact start and end date of employment
      • Employer’s signature

Submitting Your CPT Application

  • Attend International Center's Employment Hand-In Sessions
    • Sessions are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9am-11am.
  • Schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor by calling 949.824.7249

CPT Application Processing

The International Center requires seven (7) business days to process your CPT request. Your application will be ready on the seventh business day from the time you submitted the application. Only if the application is processed earlier than the seven business days you will you be notified by the International Center. Your application will not be expedited, and must be received by the International Center deadline date, in order to begin your internship by the quarter/session start date.

Picking Up Your CPT Application

You will need to bring a photo ID to the International Center to pick up your new I-20. This I-20 will document your CPT information. If you cannot pick up your application in person, you can do one of the following:

  • Provide an addressed envelope so the International Center can mail you your new CPT I-20
  • Authorize a friend to pick up on your behalf. If a friend picks up your application, they must have a signed authorization letter and their photo ID.

CPT and Unpaid Internships

There is a difference between volunteering and engaging in an unpaid internship. Volunteering refers to donating time with an organization whose primary purpose is charitable or humanitarian in nature, without compensation. If you plan to participate in an unpaid internship, and gain work experience directly related to your field of study/major you will still need to apply for CPT.


Travel Signature

Request Process


Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday
9 - 11 a.m.
International Center

Coffee Hour

Every Friday 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Counseling Center, Student Services I


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