Skip to content
International Student Services

Curricular Practical Training

CPT Video Series

What is CPT?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an opportunity for students on F-1 visas to learn practical skills related to their majors while studying at the University of Washington. CPT serves as a work authorization as students engage in different types of activities related to their major.

These are common forms of CPT:

  • Employment directly connected to your major
  • A paid or unpaid internship
  • A Cooperative (co-op) education experience
  • Participation in a Practicum
  • On-campus employment that requires additional authorization

CPT Eligibility

Students are eligible for CPT when they meet the following requirements:

  • Have active F-1 status.
    • CPT cannot begin before the start date of an I-20 document.
  • Have completed one year (three academic quarters) of full-time academic study in the U.S.
  • Are making normal academic progress.
  • Have obtained a job/internship offer letter by the time you request CPT.
  •  Are registered for CPT credits for the internship/job offer by the time you request CPT.
    • Note: Some programs may have required internships/practicums that may not require credits.

Applying for CPT

Applying for CPT

It’s important that you that you consult your academic adviser/department about CPT. Discuss with them the following questions:

  • Is the work related to my major?
  • Do I meet the departmental requirements to participate in CPT?
  • Do I need to enroll in credit for this CPT? If so, what course is most appropriate?
  • Who in the department should I use as my Academic Department Approver for the CPT application?

Most students will need to register for CPT credit to be authorized. This must happen before you submit your CPT request to ISS. We cannot approve your CPT until you are registered for the appropriate credit. Make sure you and your academic department approver are on the same page about your CPT course.

Some programs require CPT experiences and do not require coursework. If this is the case for your program, you and your Academic Department Approver will indicate this in the CPT request.

To complete the CPT request in MyISSS, you will need the following details:

  • Job offer letter and employment details (see template)
  • Start and end date of CPT employment
  • Name and contact information for academic department approver
  • Proof of enrollment in CPT credit (if applicable)

The process for approval is follows:

  • You submit your CPT Request in MyISSS.
  • Your Academic Department Approver reviews and approves the request.
  • ISS receives the request from your Department and reviews and issues you a CPT I-20 (about 3 weeks).

You cannot begin your work until you have been authorized and issued a CPT I-20.

CPT Authorization Dates

  • These are the earliest and latest possible CPT authorization dates for each quarter. CPT is approved quarterly, and no CPT authorization can extend into two quarters.
  • Quarter breaks can be included before or after a quarter’s CPT request.
  • Internships/jobs longer than one quarter require two separate CPT applications.
CPT Quarter: Spring 2024 Summer 2024 Autumn 2024
Earliest possible start date:  March 16, 2024 June 08, 2024 August 17, 2024
Latest end date:
Students continuing
June 16, 2024 September 24, 2024 January 05, 2025
Latest end date:
Students graduating
June 07, 2024 August 16, 2024 December 13, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on your authorization. If you are authorized for part-time CPT, you can work up to 20 hours per week. If you are authorized for full-time CPT, you can work more than 20 hours per week.

Yes. On-campus employment and CPT authorization will not impact the eligibility of the other.

If you are authorized for 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you will no longer be eligible for OPT. Part-time CPT should not impact your OPT eligibility.

You will need to submit a CPT update request through MyISSS. Please note that we are unable to fully cancel a CPT authorization once the authorized start date passes, and we are unable to delete or change the dates of a CPT authorization once the end date has passed.

You must submit a new CPT request for the extended date. If the extended dates are within the same quarter as your original CPT authorization, you are not required to enroll in additional CPT credits.

In general, you must enroll in your CPT credits during the quarter you are participating in CPT. The only exception to this is summer quarter. If you are doing CPT during summer, you may defer credit to the autumn quarter (with approval of your academic department). ISS will not approve CPT without autumn quarter enrollment.

No. Since the purpose of most ASB programs is service learning, they are not considered curricular training and generally do not require CPT. However, if your ASB is focused on professional training rather than service, we recommend you meet with an ISS advisor to determine whether CPT authorization may be required to participate.