Curricular Practical Training

Am I eligible for Curricular Practical Training authorization?

You are required to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for CPT authorization:

  • You are a full-time student for at least one full academic year (excludes summer terms).
  • You have F-1 status.
  • You have an offer letter outlining the training opportunity in your major field of study.
  • You have registered for an appropriate course that covers the duration of the training that you seek. Which course you are required to register for depends on what CPT option you pursue.

If you started at IU in fall 2020 or later, make sure you review the eligibility information on our COVID-19 page.

How do I get authorization for Curricular Practical Training?

To apply for CPT authorization, all students except Performer Diploma (PD), Artist Diploma (AD), and Master of Music (MM) students need to complete the following steps:

In order to be granted work authorization, your advisor has to certify that you will register in an appropriate course/independent study, internship credit(s), or dissertation credit(s). Speak with your academic advisor to determine your options for a CPT-appropriate course. If your advisor has questions, please have him or her contact OIS for assistance.

Additionally, OIS needs to receive confirmation from your academic advisor through the e-form process that indicates the course in which you are registered so that OIS can process your CPT request. Your academic advisor will be asked to provide information about how the work that you plan to do will be integral to your curriculum and fulfill requirements of your program of study.

You have to provide OIS with an offer letter (on company letterhead) from your prospective employer. Please share a copy of the offer letter with your academic advisor. Please circle the following before submitting:

  • The specific start date with the phrase "or date of authorization"
    • For example: "The candidate will begin the training opportunity on October 1, 2016, or date of authorization, whichever is later."
  • The specific end date for training
  • The number of hours you will train per week. It will not be sufficient for the letter to state “part time” or “full time.” The number of hours per week has to be provided.
  • The physical location (street address, city, state, and ZIP code) where the training will be conducted. P.O. boxes are not accepted for this requirement.
  • A description, as detailed as possible, of the duties entailed in your training

Students need to register for a CPT-appropriate course for each semester or summer session for which they seek authorization. CPT authorization cannot be based upon “incompletes” or other registrations from previous semesters.

If you seek work authorization for the summer, you need to be enrolled in a CPT-appropriate course. If your proposed CPT end date falls on or before the last day of the final summer term, you may enroll in a summer CPT-appropriate course that ends on the last day of the final summer term (end of the third 4 weeks, end of the second 6 weeks, end of the second 8 weeks, end of the 12 weeks). If your proposed CPT end date is after the last day of the final summer term, registration can be in the final summer term (unless the summer term is your final term; in this case, please discuss your plans with us before proceeding). 

Your completed application for CPT needs to be submitted to OIS in Atlas at least two weeks before the employment is expected to begin. Please apply earlier when the university is closed for the winter break, at the beginning of a semester, or at the end of a semester, because those are very busy times in the office. Failure to do so can result in delays in processing, during which time you are not eligible to begin work.

How long does CPT authorization last?

CPT authorization is granted on a semester-by-semester basis only.

If you wish to continue your training beyond the semester for which you’ve been authorized, you need to submit a CPT extension and register in the appropriate course for the option you choose.

Do this as soon as you register for the next semester so OIS will have time to process your application.