Curricular Practical Training


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off campus work authorization for employment (whether it is paid or unpaid), such as internship or co-op, for F-1 international students to receive further training. It is designed to achieve an established academic objective and is directly related to your degree level and major.

  • CPT is defined to be an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. This training must be an integral part of an establish curriculum. (8 CFR 214.2 (f) (10) (i))
  • CPT is training that is designed to achieve an established academic objective, must be an academic requirement for a student’s program, and be directly related to the student’s major field of study.
  • F-1 students in good academic standing with Texas A&M University, in good legal status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year (fall and spring semester) at a SEVIS approved school.
  • An exception may be made for graduate students who are required to participate in CPT during their first year of study. This means all participants in an academic program must do an internship within the initial year of study.
  1. Complete the CPT workshop either online or In-person to learn more about the CPT and the process.    
    • The online CPT workshop is available on eCampus for eligible candidates All F-1 international students have been automatically granted access to the Online CPT Workshop. To access it, log in to eCampus at http://ecampus.tamu.edu/ You will find the ‘CPT Workshop’ listed under the ‘My Organizations’ section.
    • ISS also conducts In-person CPT workshops. More information about In-person workshops can be found at the link CPT workshop.                                                                                                                                                           
  2. Receive an offer for CPT employment
  3. Speak with your academic department to see if the employment/internship would be an integral part of your academic program
  4. Submit the following documents:
          a) F-1 CPT Employer Form
          b) F-1 CPT Student Form
          c) F-1 CPT Department Form
          d) Official Job Letter on Company Letterhead 
 
 
Graduate Students: If this is your first CPT authorization, ISS must be able to verify that the CPT credits are on your degree plan that has been approved by your academic department and submitted to Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). If this is not your first CPT authorization, then the CPT credits must be on your degree plan and approved by your academic department and OGS.

Undergraduate Students: Submit a copy of your approved degree plan or the page(s) form the Undergraduate Catalog to show how your CPT request is either an integral part or planned option in your degree.
How much CPT am I eligible for?
The amount of CPT that a student can receive is based upon their academic program.

Will the time spent working on CPT affect the time that I receive for OPT?
Any time spent working for CPT does not affect the time that you are eligible for in OPT; however, if a student engages in 12 months or more of full time CPT, they are not eligible to apply for OPT.

Periods of part-time CPT do not count towards the 12 month limit of full-time CPT.

Do I need a job offer in order to apply for CPT?
Yes. A student authorized for CPT may only be employed by a specific employer, at a specific location and for specific dates as approved by ISS.

Can I change employers while working on CPT?
Yes, however, the student will need to submit a new CPT application. The student cannot start working with the new employer until they have received the updated I-20 reflecting the correct CPT information.

When can I start working on my CPT?
A student can start working with their CPT employer once they have received the I-20 reflecting the CPT work authorization and the start date has begun. The CPT work authorization will be indicated on the 2nd page.

When should I stop working on my CPT?
The end date of your CPT will be reflected on the 2nd page of your I-20. You should stop working on or before this date. If you stop working before this date please contact your academic department and the ISS office so we can update your record appropriately.
  • While on CPT, students must keep Texas A&M up-to-date with changes to their name, address, and employment
  • The CPT must be an integral part of an established curriculum. Specifically:
    • The CPT can be required for all degree candidates, as reflected in the course catalogue; or
    • The CPT can be part of an internship course for academic credit towards the degree, as reflected in the student’s degree plan; or
    • The CPT can be required to complete thesis/dissertation research, as reflected in the student’s degree plan
  • The student must be enrolled in the courses used for the CPT prior to the CPT being authorized.
  • There must be a faculty member teaching, supervising, or monitoring the training program
  • The employer, the student, and the student’s academic advisor must agree upon clearly defined course objectives for the program, since the CPT must be done to satisfy degree requirements.
  • The student can only start working once the CPT is authorized on the I-20 and the start date has begun.
  • The student must stop working on or before the end date of the authorized CPT
  • If you plan to do CPT during your graduating semester and/or after the date of your defense, schedule an appointment to meet with an ISS advisor to discuss your eligibility.
  • Students are not permitted to work on-campus at Texas A&M while participating in CPT during a major semester.
  • If the student wants to change employers, the must stop working and apply for new CPT authorization
  • Sponsored students must contact their sponsor to ensure that the application for CPT does not violate the conditions of their sponsorship. 
The CPT workshop will introduce CPT, discuss the CPT eligibility requirements and provide application information.

You can access the CPT workshop either online or In-person.

1. Online Workshop:
The online CPT workshop is available on eCampus for eligible candidates All F-1 international students have been automatically granted access to the Online CPT Workshop. To access it, log in to eCampus at http://ecampus.tamu.edu/. You will find the ‘CPT Workshop’ listed under the ‘My Organizations’ section.

2. In-person Workshop:
To attend one of the available workshops, please sign up using the Event Registration System at http://ers.tamu.edu

Curricular Practical Training Workshop Schedule

TAMU requires those on an F-1 or J-1 visa to be covered under the System Student Health Insurance Plan (SSHIP) or have equivalent insurance coverage. If you enroll in employer provide coverage while on CPT you must apply for a waiver of SSHIP through Academic Health Plan’s (AHP) online waiver system by the set deadline.  If you were granted a waiver based on Graduate Student Employee plan and this plan terminates, you are required to apply for a waiver using your current employer provided health insurance.  ISS is notified of those who terminate from GSE plan and you will be charged for SSHIP if you do not have an approved waiver through AHP.  Health Insurance requirements and the waiver process may be found on the ISS website here
http://iss.tamu.edu/Current-Students/Health-Insurance#0-WaiverGuidelines