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Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorization for employment that is required as part of UWM studies for F-1 students. CPT is work that is integral to your program of study. CPT eligibility depends on your individual situation and program of study. CPT may be authorized by CIE after recommendation by your faculty/academic advisor and a review by the CPT review committee.

To learn more, refer to the CPT Workshop and the frequently asked questions below.

What is Curricular Practical Training?
Regulations on CPT state: “…Curricular Practical Training is defined to be alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” {8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)}

Who is eligible for CPT?​
A current F-1 student who is enrolled in the course requiring the CPT, maintaining F-1 status, has not graduated AND has been a full-time student for at least the 2 prior academic semesters in a U.S. degree-seeking program.

What employment qualifies as CPT?​
The employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum, credit-bearing, and needed to fulfill a degree requirement. The student’s academic or faculty advisor will be required to verify this situation. CPT must fall into one of the following categories: Required: Curricular Practical Training is an internship or practicum that you must complete to earn your degree. Some examples of degree programs at UWM that require such experience include Psychology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Education. For Credit: Curricular Practical Training allows you to earn academic credit toward your degree requirements in a job that is in your field of study. It may be an elective or a requirement of your degree.

For what length of time is CPT authorized?​
CPT is authorized one term at a time. Students must re-apply each term to continue their CPT.

For what number of hours is CPT authorized?​
Students requesting CPT during required full-time enrollment terms (Fall and Spring) are only eligible for part-time CPT (20 hours per week or less). Exceptions include students in thesis or dissertator statuses and students for whom full-time CPT is a program requirement.

Does CPT limit OPT Eligibility?​
Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility. However, full-time CPT authorized for one year or more forfeits the student’s eligibility for OPT. Note: CPT is a short-term learning experience and having long-term CPT with the same employer can jeopardize future eligibility for OPT.

How can a student apply for CPT?
Submit your ISSS Connect CPT application at least two weeks prior to your projected start date to get your request processed and the new I-20 issued. Login to ISSS Connect to find the CPT application.