Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training is a type of off-campus work permission for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing study programs in the U.S. and want to gain experience in their fields of study. CPT is not available after a student completes a degree program.

Students are eligible to apply for an unlimited amount of CPT. However, if 12 months or more of full-time CPT is used, a student forfeits Optional Practical Training eligibility. Accrual of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.

To obtain CPT, a student must:

  • be in valid F-1 immigration status for at least two semesters.
  • have completed at least one academic year as a full-time student in a SEVIS approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary immediately prior to the CPT authorization.  
  • secure a job offer related to the student's field of study.
  • obtain CPT authorization BEFORE beginning employment; authorization cannot be back-dated.
  • be registered for classes at Simpson.
  • contact Walter Lain to update I-20 to include CPT authorization


Who’s eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training:

  • Degree Requirement

CPT may be authorized when an internship is a requirement of a degree program (i.e. all students in the program must complete an internship to obtain the degree). Authorization can be for full-time or part-time employment, depending on the academic department's requirement. Currently, the following programs at Simpson College have been identified as requiring employment to graduate:

Major Course
Exercise Science SPSC 319
Sports Administration SPSC 319
Multimedia Journalism COMM 319
Public Relations COMM 319
Graphic Designs ART 319
Criminal Justice CJ 346
Sociology SOC 347
  • Students receiving licensure for education are also required to student teach (similar to an internship).
  • Other majors, like Psychology and Biochemistry, require either an internship or a research experience.
  • Course credit

CPT may be authorized for students who enroll in a course that requires employment to earn a grade or a course where students design their own research project based on the employment. Enrollment in the course must be concurrent with the employment. 


CPT timing:

Employment may take place in Fall, Spring or Summer. Authorization will be granted on a semester-only basis. However, if a student wishes to work for a period longer than the last day of the semester, s/he must enroll in the next available semester before authorization can be extended beyond the current term (see Application Process, below).

  • Fall and Spring CPT

Employment is limited to part-time (20 hrs/week or less) during the Fall and Spring semesters. Graduate students who have advanced to candidacy are eligible for full-time employment during the semester as long as the employment is integral to their degree program. For both Graduates and Undergraduates, CPT in the final semester of enrollment is limited to part-time 20 hours/week.

  • Summer CPT

Full-time (20 hours or more per week) employment is allowed for all continuing students in the summer.  If summer is the first or final semester of a student’s degree program, CPT is limited to 20 hours per week.  To be eligible, students must enroll in one of the current or next available Summer Sessions (A-E) in one of the courses listed above.  Check with the sponsoring faculty member to determine the number of units required.  Authorization can be granted from the day after spring semester officially ends up to the last day of the summer ( the day before fall classes begin).  Some students may need to obtain a course code from their academic advisor to be able to add Independent Study units into their Summer enrollment.


How to apply:

Please contact Walter Lain, Asst. Dean for Multicultural and International Affairs three business days (excluding weekends and holidays) before you plan your employment start date.


Extending Curricular Practical Training:

To extend CPT beyond the current semester, please contact Walter Lain, Asst. Dean for Multicultural and International Affairs. An extension of CPT authorization cannot be granted until proof of enrollment is available. Students who are working in the fall term and wish to extend through winter break into the spring term should consult Please contact Walter Lain, Asst. Dean for Multicultural and International Affairs.