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International Students


Program Center

Deputy Hall 103
Summer office hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (M-F)
Office hours (during the Academic Year): 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (M-F)
Phone: 218.755.4096
Fax: 218.755.2074

Mailing Address:
1500 Birchmont Dr. NE #13
Bemidji, MN 56601-2907


International Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is “Curricular Practical Training?”
An F-1 student may be authorized . . . to participate in a curricular practical training program which is an integral part of an established curriculum.  Curricular practical training is defined to be alternate 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.  {8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)}

What does the Int’l Program Center need in order to authorize Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

  1. Your Form I-20.
  2. A letter from the chair of your major department approving your internship.
    The major department’s letter must:
    • mention your particular educational program, and explain why the employment described in your job offer letter is an “integral part” of your program (e.g., contributes to research for a course assignment or thesis/dissertation, enhances your professional training and preparation in your field)
    • specify how many hours of internship credit you will receive in conjunction with the employment.
  3. A job offer letter from your employer. 
    The job offer letter must:
    • be on letterhead which contains your employer’s name and address
    • specify your job title and briefly describe the work you will do
    • specify your dates of employment and the number of hours per week you will work
  4. Have an internship or practicum credit that you must complete to earn your degree program that counts towards your major/program of study. You must work with your advisor to make sure the credits will apply to your program of study/degree requirements. Electives viewed as unnecessary courses that would prolong the degree attainment are not appropriate for applying for CPT. 

Some points to keep in mind about CPT:

  • In order to be eligible for CPT, you must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year (nine months) and be in good academic standing.
  • If you have ever been enrolled as a part-time student, you must have an “Reduced Course load Form" on file for the semester(s) you were under-enrolled.  Otherwise, CPT cannot be authorized.  Students undertaking part-time CPT are required to be enrolled full time or to have a current "Reduced Course load Form" on file.
  • Any F-1 student who undertakes 12 months of full-time CPT (that is, 21 or more hours per week) is ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) following completion of studies.  Part-time CPT (20 hours or fewer per week) is not counted against OPT.
  • CPT is not available to students who are returning to begin a second degree after a period of OPT unless the established curriculum requires immediate participation in CPT.
  • If you change employers, or change from part-time to full-time employment or vice versa, you need to re-apply for CPT permission.
  • Beginning to work before CPT is authorized, or continuing to work after the authorization expires, constitutes a violation of F-1 status.