Curricular Practical Training

***Please note that no change to your Summer CPT authorization will be needed as a result of the early Fall 2020 semester opening and, for future applicants, Summer CPT authorization end dates up to 8/18/2020 are still acceptable.  If your CPT authorization end date is between 8/10 and 8/18, then please be sure to communicate with your academic department and your employer if your continued work during the overlap period will result in any absences or schedule disruptions.


We are still accepting applications for Summer 2020 CPT.

The Summer 2020 CPT application window will remain open until July 8th, 2020.

Summer 2020 CPT can begin no earlier than May 10, 2020 and end no later than August 18, 2020 (however, if the Summer term will be your final semester, then July 28, 2020 is the latest possible day of CPT authorization).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of employment authorization for students in F-1 status who wish or need to engage in off-campus employment* in their field of study when it is a required component of their curriculum, is integral to their thesis or dissertation research (e.g., collecting data or testing hypotheses in a real world industry environment) or part of a co-operative education program in their field of study. Many students do not engage in CPT during their studies, but many others do take advantage of this benefit. CPT is a benefit of the F-1 visa status, not a right. CPT at NC State University is accomplished in conjunction with Co-op enrollment, enrollment in research credits if basing CPT on thesis/dissertation or enrollment in an internship course if the CPT is a required component for all students in the curriculum.  CPT is authorized on a semester-by-semester basis: each semester of CPT requires a new complete application.


*Part-time Co-op is not available to undergraduate students during the Fall and Spring semesters

**CPT cannot be authorized for positions under a 1099 independent contractor arrangement

***CPT internships should be of at least 6 weeks duration


If you have questions, please first take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page on CPT.

All CPT applications are to be submitted via the Virtual CPT Application Submission Center


See eligibility requirements

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time for at least nine months (two consecutive semesters) and be in F-1 status
  • Students who have met the above requirement but are new to their degree program must also complete at least one semester in their curriculum at NC State
  • Students must be maintaining lawful F-1 status
  • Students must be in good academic standing (students whose academic programs are listed as suspended, terminated, probation or warning are not eligible for CPT) and must meet the minimum G.P.A. requirements  (3.0 for graduate students; 2.5 for undergraduate students)
  • CPT will be revoked if the student does not maintain good academic standing throughout the duration of the CPT authorization.  It is the student’s responsibility to end employment immediately and report to OIS if the student is placed in suspended, terminated, probation, or warning status and if the student is involved in any academic integrity or student conduct violation or any other action that results in the loss of good academic standing
  • Students must be making normal progress towards completion of their degree program
  • All students must obtain the recommendation of their academic advisor, and graduate students must also obtain the recommendation of their DGP.
  • Before submitting the application for CPT, the student must be enrolled/registered for classes for the semester they plan to use CPT.  Additionally, students applying for summer CPT who will be resuming their studies in the Fall term must register for subsequent Fall semester coursework prior to submitting CPT/Co-op materials
  • CPT cannot delay or interfere with the student’s progress in the degree program
  • Student’s employer must not prevent the student from discussing the co-op activities with their academic advisors at NC State

Full-time and Part-time CPT

Part-time (<20 hours per week) CPT is possible for eligible students (concurrent full-time enrollment is required in the Fall and Spring semesters). International students at NC State are limited to a combined total of 20 hours of employment during the Spring and Fall terms, or any required term of enrollment (inclusive of on-campus and any CPT). Students may be eligible for employment beyond 20 hours per week during the academic year only if the CPT is justified because it is a standard requirement of the academic program [for all students in the degree program or track] or integral to the student’s thesis or dissertation.


  • If a non-thesis student holds a .5 TA/RA position in a given semester, no CPT may be authorized for that semester.
  • If a non-thesis student holds a .25 TA/RA position in a given semester, 10 hours of CPT may be authorized for that semester.
  • If a thesis student holds a .5 TA/RA for a given semester but CPT is integral to the student’s thesis research and is recommended by the student’s thesis advisor and DGP as integral, then CPT may be authorized and total employment may exceed 20 hours per week, but total employment should not exceed 40 hours per week.

Semester Eligibility Dates

CPT is authorized on a semester-by-semester basis. Each semester of CPT needs a separate application.  Please see the NCSU Three Year Calendar.

Summer semester:
Earliest start date:  Day after spring ‘Graduation’
Latest end date:  Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the fall semester*

Spring semester:
Earliest start date:  Day after fall ‘Graduation’
Latest end date:  Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the 1st summer session*

Fall semester:
Earliest start date:  Day after 2nd summer semester ‘Final Examinations’ end
Latest end date:  Day before ‘First Day of Classes’ in the spring semester*

*unless the student is completing degree requirements during that semester

How to apply for Curricular Practical Training

~Completed CPT applications should be submitted to the Career Development Center via the Virtual CPT Application Submission Center ~ Please make sure you are registered for the semester you wish to participate in CPT before submitting your CPT application to the Career Development Center.  Please begin the CPT application process early.  We recommend you start at least one month prior to your expected CPT start date.

STEP 1:  View the online CPT session.  

STEP 2 : After viewing this session, you will need to access the online CPT quiz.   Take this quiz and, if you receive a passing grade, print the results page to include in your application materials.

STEP 3: Secure a position. If you need help finding a position or would like to improve your interviewing skills, resume or want to learn about the expectations of American employers, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your Career Counselor.

STEP 4: Complete the application form.

  1. Review the offer letter you have received and make sure you have the following items in writing from your employer: (1) Job title, (2) job description, (3) salary, (4) number of hours you will work per week, (5) start date, (6) end date, and (7) the specific work location (the address where YOU will work). If you do not have all of the details listed above please show this to your employer and request these details be added, as you will not be authorized for CPT until all 7 components are confirmed in writing by the employer. If you will be working remotely, the offer letter must explicitly state that you will be working remotely and include the physical address of the remote work location.
  2. Submit your offer letter and the F-1 Student Application for CPT to your Academic Advisor (graduate students must also obtain the signature of their DGP) and ask them to complete section III of the form.
  3. E-mail or hand the the form to your future employer and ask them to complete section II, sign it and give it back to you to include in your application packet submitted to the Career Development Center.
  4. Submit your completed application materials to the Career Development Center via the Virtual CPT Application Submission Center for review.
  5. Once the Career Development Center has approved your CPT application, the Career Development Center will scan and submit your application to OIS.  You will receive an automated email from OIS when this occurs.
  6. OIS will review your application materials to confirm if you qualify for CPT. You do not need visit OIS after the Career Development Center has scanned your materials. OIS will only accept CPT applications submitted by the Career Development Center. If your application is approved by OIS, you will receive your work authorization documents within 10 business days. OIS will e-mail you to pick up your work authorization documents from the OIS office.

*Total processing time (from when CDC receives a complete application to when OIS issues the new I-20) is 2-3 weeks. OIS cannot expedite processing of your CPT application. If your new I-20 cannot be obtained in time for your requested start date, then you
will need to negotiate a later start date with your employer.

***If you are travelling outside the U.S. between the time you submit your application and the start of your CPT (as indicated by the travel dates on the CPT application form), OIS will process and issue the CPT I-20 even if you are abroad.  If you would prefer us to hold off on I-20 issuance until your return, please notify OIS directly.

If you wish to obtain a soft copy of the I-20 after its issuance, please email with this request, along with any instructions for delivery of the original I-20 (simply attach a pre-paid shipping label to the email; or if you prefer to have a friend collect it on your behalf, just include that friend’s name in your email reply).

STEP 5: Accept A Job Offer In Good Faith When you accept an offer, you should have every intention of honoring that commitment. Accepting an offer only as a precautionary measure is misleading to the employer and may restrict opportunities for others who are genuinely interested in that employer.

STEP 6: Withdraw From Recruiting When Your Job Search Is Completed. If you accept an offer, notify the Co-op office and withdraw from the on-campus recruiting process immediately. And, let employers that are actively considering you for a job know that you are now out of the running.  It is also good practice (and recommended by OIS) to speak with your academic advisor or Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) if you are faced with a dilemma about accepting a job offer. Your academic advisor or DGP can help you make the best decision and advise you about professional expectations. For more information regarding students’ responsibilities when accepting job offers please visit the NACE – the National Association for Colleges and Employers or contact the Career Development Center.

Extension of CPT

Students who are eligible for and would like to request an extension of a current CPT (i.e. an additional few days or weeks within the same semester) for the same employer (nothing has changed except the new ending date) will need to submit a completed CPT Extension Form, also found on OIS’s Forms webpage.  This should be submitted to OIS at least 2 weeks prior to the current CPT end date or the extension will be denied and you would be required to stop working on your existing CPT end date, no exceptions.

Students who are eligible for and would like to request a second rotation or additional semester of CPT should complete the CPT application materials again by following the steps outlined above, as all new material will be required. Note: Students on an approved CPT are not eligible to continue working beyond the end date of the CPT authorization as indicated on the second page of the I-20.  


While on CPT, students are still required to maintain health insurance coverage that meets or exceeds the minimum coverage of the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan.  Those students enrolled in a COP course during the fall or spring semester will not be automatically billed for the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan.  If the CPT employer is providing health insurance or the student wishes to purchase other insurance, it must meet or exceed the minimum coverage of the NCSU Student Health Insurance Plan.  If it does not, students can enroll manually in the Student Health Insurance Plan by following these instructions:

Steps to Enroll

  • Access the NCSU Student Blue Helath Insurance website
  • Click “Enrollment & Waiver” on top menu bar
  • Scroll down and select “Go to Enrollment or Waiver”
  • If you already have a student blue account login, otherwise select the new users tab and click “Enroll”.  You will then create your account using the student ID and DOB.
  • Fill in all required fields and submit.  You should then receive your enrollment confirmation.  Your insurance card should arrive within 2 weeks at the address you provided on your registration.

Since the premium for insurance is not automatically included with tuition for these students, the charge will be added to your account during the reconciliation period.  If you wish to have the premium added to your account before this occurs you may call the Student Health Center (919-515-2563) and the premium will be added manually.

CPT will be revoked for students who do not maintain adequate health insurance coverage.

Additional Information

  • Time spent doing CPT is not subtracted from the 12 month maximum period of OPT (Optional Practical Training), but students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for any OPT for that degree level.
  • The maximum amount of TOTAL employment during required semesters of enrollment is 20 hours per week (unless approved for a Full-time CPT).  This can be either CPT or on-campus employment, or a combination of both.  But the total employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week. 
  • Students who engage in off-campus employment without obtaining CPT authorization, or who work before or after the approved dates on the CPT authorization as listed on the Form I-20, or who are employed differently than defined by the CPT authorization on Page two of the I-20 will be considered to have engaged in unlawful employment.
  • Students engaged in fulltime CPT in the fall or spring semester are required to maintain fulltime enrollment. Typically fulltime enrollment is fulfilled through enrollment in the fulltime COP course. However, students should obtain the approval of their course registration from their DGP or Coordinator of Advising. 
  • In order to accept salary or wage payment from a U.S.-based source, it is necessary to obtain a Social Security Number.