F-1 Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization for an “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”

  • CPT can only be authorized prior to your degree completion for a work experience that is in your major field of study and considered to be “an integral part of an established curriculum.”
  • CPT can be authorized for a work experenece (e.g., internship, job in your major field of study) that is part-time (20 or fewer hours per week) or full-time (over 20 hours per week) if you meet the CPT eligibility requirements, are in good academic standing, and have a qualifying GPA.
    •  In order to qualify for full-time CPT during spring or fall semester, you must have at least a 3.0 (undergraduates) or 3.5 GPA (graduate students).
    • The minimum passing GPA requirements may be higher, depending on your College’s policies.
    • Students who are suspended or on academic probation in their college are not eligible for CPT.

If you are authorized for a cumulative total of 12 months or more of full-time CPT at a degree level, you are ineligible for Optional Practical Training at that degree level.

Eligibility: You must meet ALL of the following criteria in order to request CPT

  • You are a degree-seeking student in valid F-1 status;
  • You completed one full academic year (Fall & Spring semester) of continuous full-time enrollment
    • Summer enrollment does not count towards the one year full-time enrollment requirement
  • You are in good academic standing with your College/School/Department
  • You meet the minimum GPA requirements
    • Part-time CPT: 2.0 for undergrads / 3.0 for graduate students
    • Full-time CPT: 3.0 for undergrads / 3.5 for graduate students (summer: only passing GPA required)
  • Grades have posted to MyCUInfo for the most recent semester and you do not have any incomplete grades on your transcript from the current or previous semesters;
    • Exception: thesis and dissertation credits
  • You are currently enrolled full-time at CU Boulder or have an approved Reduced Course Load (RCL);
    • If CPT will occur during winter or summer break, you must be enrolled in the next consecutive term (e.g., Summer-> Fall; Winter-> Spring)
    • Maintaining an on-campus presence through enrollment in at least one on-campus course requiring physical presence on campus even in your final semester
      • If you plan to graduate in the summer, you must still be registered for credits that require on-campus presence in the summer; enrolling in only distance credits is not sufficient.
  • You have a job offer (offer letter and position description) for employment in your major field of study (not minor or previous major) where there is a direct employer-employee relationship (not 1099 contract employment); AND
  • You must complete the CPT Agreement Form (including employer and Career Services signatures).

Do not start working until you have a new I-20 authorizing your CPT.

To learn more about CPT: