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California State University, Fullerton

Curricular Practical Training For F-1 Students Only

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization or permission for F-1 students pursuing a degree, or credential program, to work before graduation in a short-term paid and unpaid internship position, which is directly related to an academic course or program.


An F-1 student is eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training if he or she meets all of the following requirements:

  • Must be in F-1 status at the time CPT is approved.
  • Must be full-time enrolled at least one academic year.
  • Transfer Students (from U.S. university or college): Must have completed one semester at CSUF and have an F-1 visa
  • Must have an unexpired passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • Must be maintaining F-1 status
  • Must be in good academic standing
    • Not on academic probation
    • Not on administrative probation
    • Not on graduate probation

Application Procedure for CICE Academic Internships

  1. Find an internship position.
  2. Complete and print Center for Internships & Community Engagement's (CICE) online application form at
  3. Obtain approval and signature from CICE.
  4. Obtain Major Department's Faculty Internship Coordinator's approval and signature.
  5. Enroll in appropriate internship course as determined by CICE or your department.
    Important Reminder: Please be aware of enrollment deadlines.
  6. Read the CPT handout and complete Page 3 - CICE Academic Internships: Curricular Practical Training Request form. Submit this form and CICE paperwork to International Students & Scholars Office (UH 244). You will be contacted by ISS to pick up your new I-20 with CPT work authorization in 7-10 business days.

Application Procedure for non-CICE Internships

  1. Find an internship position.
  2. Read CPT handout and complete Page 5 - Non-CICE Internships: Curricular Practical Training Request form.
  3. Obtain Academic Advisor's approval and signature.
  4. Enroll in appropriate course as determined by the academic advisor.
  5. Submit all paperwork: CPT request form, signed job or internship offer letter, proof of course enrollment, Study Plan (graduate) or Titan Degree Audit (undergraduate) to International Students & Scholars Office, UH 244. You will be contacted by ISS to pick up your new I-20 with CPT work authorization in 7-10 business days.

Deadline to apply for CPT: Last add/drop date (with late fee) of current semester. Please check the online Registration Guide for the actual date. You cannot begin the internship until you have received the new I-20 with CPT authorization and CPT start date has begun.

Length of CPT

  • CPT is authorized for a semester or a term (such as Summer).
    • Example: Start first day of semester, end last day of semester.
  • Students requesting CPT for another semester must go through application process again (including enrollment in an internship course for next semester).

Hours of CPT

Part-time CPT Less than or equal to 20 hours per week for Fall and Spring semesters.
Full-time CPT More than 20 hours per week (21-40 hours per week).
During intersession & summer or in student's final semester, full-time CPT is allowed (more than 20 hours per week).

Caution: If you work a cumulative total of 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you will not be eligible to apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Important Reminders

  • Once you submit the required application form to the International Students & Scholars Office (in UH 244), you will be given a new I-20. CPT Work Authorization is noted on page 3 of your new I-20, including the name of the internship organization and address of your internship site.
    This is the only form of work authorization you will receive from the International Students & Scholars Office.
  • Internships CANNOT be authorized the same day you see an Advisor or even one day before you start your internship.
  • UNPAID academic internships require CPT and registration in the internship course.

Revised — May 2016

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