Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization for students on F-1 status. The purpose of CPT is to allow students to engage in temporary employment while enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin. Many students use CPT to participate in off-campus internships, but it can also be used to work more than 20 hours per week at an on-campus employment.
Students interested in obtaining CPT must submit an application to our office. To be eligible for CPT, a student must receive academic credit for their internship, or the internship must be a required component of their degree plan. Also, a student must receive a job offer prior to obtaining CPT approval.
Once we approve a CPT application, we issue the student a new I-20 listing their CPT work authorization. The CPT approval on the I-20 will include the name of the student’s employer and the dates the student is authorized to work for them. CPT approval is employer-specific and date-specific: If a student needs to change their employer or employment dates, they need to contact our office.
How can you get CPT approval from ISSS?
- Talk to your academic advisor to find out whether you are eligible for CPT as part of your academic program. If approved, have your academic advisor fill out the CPT recommendation form.
- Get an offer letter from your future employer. Make sure the offer letter meets all of our requirements.
- Submit your employment offer letter, your completed CPT recommendation form, and a copy of your current I-94 record to ISSS. You can submit your documents through our CPT Drop-Off Service or by scheduling an appointment with an International Student Advisor.
Note: Soon we will begin accepting CPT applications electronically. We will notify students through a blog post when this feature is available.
How can you submit an application through the CPT Drop-Off service?
Bring your completed CPT recommendation form, a copy of your current I-94 record, and your employment offer letter to the International Office front desk. Additionally, you will need to sign and complete both sides of the CPT Drop-off Service Checklist. If you drop everything off before Thursday at 5 pm, an advisor review your documents by 5 pm the following Monday. This means that your new I-20 listing your CPT authorization will be available by Tuesday morning. An advisor will email you when your new I-20 is ready to be picked up or if there is anything else you need to do.
Important things to remember about CPT and work authorization:
- There are no same-day approvals when using the CPT Drop-Off Service.
- If you need an expedited approval, we recommend you schedule an appointment with an advisor.
- Be sure that you do not begin any off-campus employment before your CPT is approved. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of the F-1 student status. Remember, you must always have permission from our office before you start any off-campus employment!
If you have any questions about the CPT process, please schedule an international student advising appointment or email email@example.com. We are happy to answer all of your questions!