Curricular practical training is a form of work permission that allows F-1 students to gain valuable, practical hands-on experience in an internship or another employment opportunity. To be considered CPT, the work not only must be related to your major field of study but must also be considered by the University to be an integral part of the established curriculum. CPT authorization may be obtained if the employment meets any one of the following circumstances:

  • It is a requirement of the degree program.
    If your degree program requires you to participate in an internship or to gain practical experience in the field at an off campus location, you should apply for curricular practical training.
  • It is a requirement of specific internship class that earns academic credit.
  • It is required for a doctoral dissertation.
    It is required for collecting data or conducting research for an approved dissertation

Employment experience that is required for all students by your degree program always meets the requirements for CPT, regardless of whether you receive academic credits for your work.

Each faculty at Catholic University and each degree program within that faculty has different requirements that would affect your eligibility for CPT so it is advisable for you to consult with your academic advisor and the course catalog or the Announcements for opportunities that may be available for your program of study. In general, the Announcements or another official university publication describing curricular requirements should indicate the type of practical experience your course of study requires. The work should be:

  • Directly related to courses listed in official Catholic University publications
  • Overseen by a University Professor
  • Available to any Catholic University student pursuing the course of study

Please note: employment opportunities that simply relate to your general course of study, but are not an integral part of your academic program's curriculum do not qualify for curricular practical training. In such cases, you would need to explore the possibility of using optional practical training.