Curricular Practical Training Policy Change Effective May 6, 2021

ISSS recently received new guidance from the government regarding Curricular Practical Training (CPT). As a result of this new guidance, ISSS is updating our CPT policy to ensure that CU Boulder continues to be in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security F-1 regulations as well as in line with the CPT policies of our peer institutions. The updated CPT policy will be announced at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester at the latest and will take effect on May 6, 2021 after the Spring 2021 semester. We appreciate your patience and understanding as ISSS reviews the new guidance to make the necessary changes to our CPT policy.

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 experience (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.

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 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);
  • The job is not related to marijuana industry (including working in a lab extracting CBD oil for medical purposes); 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: