Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows you to engage in an internship, practicum, or cooperative education program (generally off-campus) that is a required or integral part of the curriculum in your department.

If you are authorized for CPT, you will be eligible to work in a specific internship or practicum for a specific period of time during your studies.

Eligibility requirements

  1. Valid F-1 status

  2. Full-time enrollment in a USCIS-certified school in lawful nonimmigrant status for 9 months (3 terms).

  3. Being currently engaged in a degree-seeking academic program, or a structured non-degree program that is part of an established OSU curriculum.

  4. The proposed internship is either a required or integral part of the established curriculum for your program for which you will receive academic credit

  Students may not begin an internship until they have received a CPT authorization from OIS.

Registration Requirements

You must continue to maintain course registration in every term in which CPT is authorized, including summer term:

  • Regular Term = full-time credits
  • Summer/Vacation Term = at least 1 credit

Additional departmental or Graduate School requirements may apply.

Part-Time or Full-Time

Calculated independently from any on-campus work authorization

  • Part-time = up to 20 hours per week; never impacts OPT
  • Full-time = more than 20 hours per week; 12 months or more disqualifies you from OPT
Required vs. Integral
  • Required = Must be completed by all students in a degree program and may be listed on program of study

  • Integral = Not specifically required by degree program, but may be highly encouraged or necessary to learn specific skills or gather research

Application Process

Step 1. Review our CPT Module in Canvas.

Complete the CPT workshop online in the OIS Canvas Course. Talk to an advisor through appointment or drop-ins for questions.


in Canvas

Step 2. Meet with your Academic Advisor

Once you have identified an internship, meet with your academic advisor to discuss how the internship will fit into your academic program and course registration requirements. If your academic advisor determines that the opportunity qualifies as an integral or required part of your academic program, they will be asked to provide feedback as part of the CPT I-20 Request E-Form process.


in an appointment


Step 3. Gather & Submit Materials to OIS

Submit a CPT I-20 Request E-Form through IPConnect and upload the required documents. An advisor will issue a CPT-endorsed I-20 as proof of employment eligibility which you must show to your employer before beginning your internship.

As part of the CPT I-20 Request E-form, you will need to send OIS a CPT employment offer letter that includes these details:

  • Exact start and end date of employment (start date cannot be in the past, end date cannot be after your expected degree completion)
  • Number of hours per week you will be working
  • Employer’s address
  • Job title (“intern” is fine)
  • Brief description of job duties

Here is our CPT Sample Internship Offer Letter you can show to employers for reference:

Here is a handout we created to explain CPT and OPT to employers:


7-10 business days


Other Factors to Consider

If your employer would like to extend your internship beyond the dates of original authorization, submit another CPT I-20 Request E-form via IPConnect at least 10 days prior to the new requested start date to allow adequate processing time.

If you will be employed for less time than originally requested, you may send an updated offer letter via email to to change the dates of your CPT authorization prior to completion of internship. Any period of full-time CPT authorization listed in your record will count towards the 12-month total that disqualifies you from applying for OPT, regardless of whether you engaged in employment during that time.

CPT may only be authorized prior to the completion of studies, and may not be authorized after a recommendation for OPT has been issued. If you anticipate beginning an internship near the end of your program or if you will need to extend a current CPT authorization, you should submit the CPT I-20 Request E-Form before requesting a recommendation for OPT.