Curricular Practical Training

(Note: Every effort has been made to update the information below, however things are subject to change without notice.)

Students with F-1 visas who have completed one academic year of study in the U.S. are eligible to apply for off-campus employment authorization. Students are permitted to work for as many months as needed for curricular training. However, if they work off-campus one year or more on a full-time basis, they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation.

St. Olaf international students are required to register for a credit-based Academic Internship in order to participate in CPT. You must have an internship offer before you apply for CPT, and you must have CPT authorization before you begin your internship.

The International Student Coordinator/Designated School Official authorizes your CPT after reviewing the letters from your employer and your academic advisor/internship faculty advisor.

The student’s employment must be directly related to his or her studies and commensurate with his or her educational level. A job offer is required before the student can apply for employment authorization. If a student wishes to change jobs during the authorized period of employment, the student must go through the entire process again and re-apply for the CPT.

Eligibility To be eligible for CPT or any off-campus employment, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a degree program for 9 consecutive months prior to CPT.
  • Be a student in good F-1 and academic standing.
  • CPT experience must be directly related to your studies.
  • A job offer is required before you apply for CPT authorization.
  • If you change employers or extend your CPT period, the ISC must reauthorize you through SEVIS.
  • You may participate in part-time (less than 20 hours/week) or full-time (more than 20 hours/week) CPT. There is no limit of part-time CPT.
  • If you exceed 12 months full-time CPT, you will be ineligible for post-graduation Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • CPT can be done on a full-time basis in the summer or during semester breaks, but part-time only during the academic year.
  • CPT authorization is only given one semester at a time. Each semester the student must be re-authorized in order to verify class registration.
  • CPT authorization for the summer can be given for both 5-week terms.
  • No USCIS filing fee.
  • Academic Internship credit cost for summer 2013: $2,475 (1.00 cr), $1,855 (.75 cr), $1,235 (.50 cr), or $620 (.25 cr). (source)
  • You should also budget for accommodations, food, transportation, and other costs.
Application Process
  • If you are seeking assistance with an internship, please visit the Piper Center for Vocation and Career’s website or stop in to the Piper Center office. Piper Center staff can help you with the search process and advise you through the steps to register for an academic internship. From the Piper Center’s homepage, click on Academic Internships under the Student Resources section on the right.
  • You will need to provide a copy of the completed paperwork for your academic internship to the ISC to have it entered into SEVIS, along with your passport, current I-20, and I-94 card.
  • Obtain new I-20 with CPT authorization.