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. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Info Video

Eligibility Requirements

You must be enrolled full-time and in good academic standing for one academic year before you are 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. 

  • You must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized. 
  • Students in the Intensive English Program (IEP) are not eligible. 

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  

CPT Application Procedures 

STEP ONE: Learn about the CPT process by reading all information on this page. Attend a CPT Information session scheduled throughout the semester. 

STEP TWO: Secure a training experience (internship/work experience). 

  • Be sure that you have a job offer letter on letterhead from the employer that includes: 
    • Company/institution name and address  
    • Brief job description 
    • Dates of your employment (both start and end dates) 
    • Number of proposed week hours per week 
    • Signature from hiring authority 

STEP THREE: Set up a meeting with your academic advisor, department chair and/or internship coordinator to review your opportunity, secure permission for the proper course and have them sign the CPT form. Check with your academic department to confirm who may sign off on your form.  

STEP FOUR: Register for the proper course. A Designated School Official (DSO) cannot authorize CPT until student has registered in the proper course and term the academic advisor has indicated on the CPT form.  

STEP FIVE: Bring the completed offer letter (from step 2) and CPT form (from step 3) to the Kearney Center. You may leave the forms at the front desk, email them to, mail them or make an appointment with your immigration advisor to review all information on the forms.  


  • Your immigration advisor determines your eligibility for CPT. To fully understand eligibility, read all information on this page carefully.  
  • It takes 3-5 business days for your immigration advisor to process your CPT request and your immigration advisor will email you when your I-20 is ready for pickup. 
  • Your immigration advisor will authorize CPT in SEVIS for a specific employer, and you are only authorized to work for the employer listed on your updated I-20. 
  • Review your CPT I-20 when you receive it to confirm accuracy.  
  • SIGN your CPT I-20 and always keep the original with you.  

STEP SIX: Once you have your CPT I-20, you may begin working on or after the CPT start date listed on your I-20. You cannot start work prior to the start date. All work must end by the CPT end date.  

Note: You cannot start any internship/employment without prior approval from the Kearney International Center. If you do, it is unauthorized employment and will jeopardize your status. 

Please provide the Kearney International Center three to five working days to complete your CPT application.