Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is only available to F-1 students when it is an integral part of an established curriculum. In practical terms, “integral part of an established curriculum” means an opportunity must be required by the curriculum or, if not required, the student must receive credit for the training. 

An F-1 student must be authorized by the Kearney Center to participate in a curricular practical training program. Once approved, you will be issued an I-20 with CPT as work/employment authorization. 

Eligibility Requirements

You must be enrolled full-time in a degree program and in good academic standing for one academic year before being eligible for CPT. Graduate students whose program requires an internship for ALL students may be approved for CPT their first semester. 

In calculating the required one full academic year needed to be eligible for CPT, you can include time spent in other programs of study if there was no break between programs.

Types of CPT 

Internship/practicum required by the degree program 

  • Internship must be for credit, required for the completion of the degree program, and published in the Minnesota State University, Mankato catalog. 

Elective internship/employment 

  • Available to students who want to gain practical work experience related to their field of study. 
  • You must register for a course in the established curriculum that requires employment/internship 

Co-op program 

  • Internship is facilitated through a cooperative education agreement/contract between Minnesota State University, Mankato and the proposed company and is an integral part of the degree program. Student must register for zero credit Co-op course. 

Internship with an international organization 

  • Please see your immigration advisor for more information on this category. 

Part-time vs. Full-time CPT 

Part-time CPT 

  • Defined as 20 hours of work per week or less  
    • Undergraduate Students: part-time is the only option during fall and spring semester unless it’s your last semester.  
    • Graduate Students: part-time is the only option during your first academic semester if your academic program requires participation in an internship for the completion your program. 


  • Defined as 21 hours of work per week or more 
  • Undergraduate Students may engage in full-time CPT only: 
    • In Summer semester; OR 
    • When participating in a co-op experience; OR  
    • When participating in an internship during the last semester of study with approved RCL. 
  • Graduate Students may engage in fulltime CPT only: 
    • After their first academic semester  
    • Students enrolled in a Bachelor/Master combined degree program may be eligible for full-time CPT their first semester after completing the Bachelor degree requirements. Please contact your Immigration Advisor if you have any questions. 

Next Steps:

  • You need to work with your Academic Department/Advisor to determine which course your intended internship/CPT is related to. 
  • Secure job/employment offer and position description
    • Offer letter must include location of employment, contact information for supervisor, dates of employment, salary, and hours per week.  
    • Position Description must include an overview of tasks and responsibilities related to internship
  • Print DARs (Bachelors) or Transcript (Masters)
  • Register for associate course 

Submit CPT request in TerraDotta. 

You may not begin working until your CPT has been approved and you’ve been issued an updated I-20 showing your employment authorization.