Published: Dec. 22, 2020

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) recently conducted a comprehensive review our Curricular Practical Training (CPT) protocol for international students holding F-1 nonimmigrant status. CPT is temporary permission authorized by ISSS for an international student in F-1 nonimmigrant status to engage in off-campus training which is integral to the student's major and part of their program of study. Based on the results of the ISSS internal review, ISSS is instituting comprehensive changes to our CPT protocol effective for any CPT that is to start on May 6, 2021 or later. This document details the reasons that necessitate this change and the new protocol. 

The primary change in the CPT protocol is that for a student to be authorized for CPT, they must meet one of the following requirements. (These parameters also apply to graduate students enrolled in only thesis and/or dissertation credits.):

  • Be enrolled in an internship course for credit that counts towards their degree. (Enrollment in the course must be concurrent with the training.) or
  • Their degree must require an internship and that requirement is clearly documented in the University Catalog.

While we understand the impact this may have on our international students in F-1 status who would like to take advantage of off-campus training opportunities, this change is required in order to maintain compliance with federal rules and ensure that CU Boulder can continue to sponsor international students for F-1 nonimmigrant status. Pre-completion Optional Practical Training remains another option for off-campus training for many students in F-1 status if they are not eligible for CPT.

ISSS will be publishing detailed information on the new CPT protocol and the processes involved on the ISSS website in early January. We will also include this information in our February edition of the ISSS News. ISSS will continue to offer workshops on CPT in the spring semester for students. In addition, early next semester, ISSS will be hosting a training session on the CPT protocol for academic advisors and other administrative staff who are interested. Details about the CPT workshops and the training session will be posted on the ISSS website. In the meanwhile, ISSS is available at to answer any questions.

Please share this message and the document included herein with colleagues. A copy of this email message is also currently posted on the front page of the ISSS website under ISSS News and in the ISSS Communications section of our News & Alerts webapge.