Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a structured educational program which combines classroom learning with productive work experience in a field related to a student’s academic program. CPT is available to F-1 students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis in a U.S. university for at least one academic year. The work experience must be integral to your established curriculum.


  • Lawfully enrolled full-time in a U.S. university for at least one academic year (two long semesters).
  • Valid F-1 status.
  • Good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA for graduates, 2.0 GPA for undergraduates).
  • Meet all CPT requirements of the UT Dallas Jonsson School Industrial Practice Program (all ECS students) or UT Dallas Career Center (all other students).
  • Have not failed a previous CPT course.
  • No incomplete grades.
  • Have not completed your degree requirements.

Application Process

  • Contact the appropriate internship office for introductory information
  • Obtain a CPT Approval Letter.
  • Submit that CPT Approval Letter and a CPT I-20 Request Form to the ISSO.
  • The ISSO will send you an email when your CPT I-20 is ready for pickup. Processing time is one business day, and requests submitted after 4:00 PM will require an additional day.
  • Pick up the CPT I-20. The authorization information is on page three of the I-20.
  • You are not allowed to work until you have your CPT I-20 and the CPT beginning date has arrived.
  • Your authorization is valid only for the dates and employer listed on the I-20.  If your work dates change or you are asked to return for a second semester you must update your I-20 authorization before continuing.

Reduced Enrollment

  • Part-time CPT requires full-time enrollment at school during any long semester or first semester in a new program.
  • Full-time CPT that lasts at least 11 weeks is considered full-time enrollment for immigration purposes for one long semester per year. In the next long semester you will be required to carry a standard course-load unless approved for reduced enrollment by the ISSO based on another reason, such as a documented medical illness. Note: Check with your academic program to learn if there are additional enrollment limits.

CPT Limits

  • You can have only one CPT at a time.
  • You cannot have a teaching or research assistantship (TA/RA) and a CPT at the same time. This is a UT Dallas Graduate School policy.
  • You will be authorized for no more than 364 days of full time CPT per academic level.  
  • Some UT Dallas academic departments have additional limits on the number of internship credits available to you. Check with the appropriate advisor in your area of study.
  • You cannot have an on-campus job and a CPT at the same time unless they are related.
  • For students obtaining a Change of Level  I-20, the earliest you may be authorized to begin a new CPT is the program start date for the new Change of Level I-20.

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