International Students and Scholars Office

Clark students


Curricular Practical Training: F-1 Students


Employment off-campus for F-1 international students is strictly regulated by the US goverment. One way that enrolled students can get work authorization is through the use of Curricular Pracitcal Training (CPT).  CPT is defined as "a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an estabished curriculum.  Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." A CPT authorization will allow you to accept off-campus employment when your established curriculum includes an internship, practicum, or professional experience component. CPT authorization is required for all work experiences that are used for academic credit or are used to fulfill an internship requirement, whether they are paid or unpaid.  


In order to be eligible for CPT the internship, practicum, or professional experience must either be a required part of your academic program or must be for academic credit. CPT can be authorized after you have completed two full semesters of study in the U.S. A full semester consists of at least 3 units. Students who have not completed two full semesters are not eligible for CPT.  The only exception to this rule is for academic programs where the curriculum requires practical training right away for ALL students - these programs are VERY limited in number at Clark.


CPT authorization limits employment to part-time (no more than 20 hours per week) while classes are in session. It can be full-time during breaks (winter break, summer break, etc.). To be eligible for part-time CPT during the academic year, you must maintain full-time student status throughout the authorized CPT period. There is no limit on the time you may be authorized for CPT, but if you engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you will lose eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Prior to the start of employement, you will need to receive authorization from the ISSO advisor who records the employment in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and issues a new

I-20 Form with a notation that permits you to engage in CPT. You must re-apply to the ISSO anytime you change employers, extend or shorten hours, or change the length of your employment period. You may only work for the employer specified in the CPT authorization on page two of the Form 1-20, and you must not begin work until you have received the CPT authorization from the ISSO. Working on dates that are not included in the CPT listed on your I-20 or working before your CPT has been authorizaed is not permitted and may result in the termination of your F-1 status.


CPT Application Procedures

Please allow one week from the time we receive your documents to process your new I-20 form.

Undergraduate students


Please visit Career Services in the LEEP Center to begin the necessary paperwork for approval of your internship. Once the form is approved by Career Services, and all but the ISSO signature is complete, please deliver the forms to the ISSO office. The ISSO advisor will process your CPT authorization and contact you by email when your new I-20 form is ready to be picked up.

Graduate students


All graduate students will need to complete the CPT Application as the first step of the process.  Students complete Page 1 of the form, then send it to your advisor to complete Page 2 and return to you.  When the form is completed, you will bring it, along with your internship/employment offer letter to ISSO to be processed. 

*Please note that your internship/employment offer letter MUST include the following details or your application will be returned to you: on company letterhead with the full address where you will be working, the start and end date of the internship, your supervisor's name and phone number, any salary/compensation that you will receive and a brief description of your job duties.


GSOM students should log into The Clark Recruiter to complete the internship approval process. In Recruiter, you will be prompted to upload a scanned copy of the completed CPT application and the internship offer letter.  All other students should bring the documents to ISSO during our business hours or e-mail them directly to Amanda Connolly.


Once we have received the completed CPT Application and your offer letter, please allow one week for ISSO to process your new I-20 form.  We will contact you via e-mail to notfiy you when your new CPT I-20 is ready to be picked up in our office.  To ensure that you have work authorization before you start work, we strongly advise that you have all documents to ISSO at least two weeks before your CPT will begin. We cannot guarantee timely processing of documents submitted less than one week prior to the start date of your employment. Working prior to receiving authorization can have negative consequences on your immigration status.


For more details on Curricular Practical Training, please review our CPT overview for Graduate Students.

Please do not begin employment until you have received your new CPT I-20 form from the ISSO office.