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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

CPT is only available before completing an academic program, and it is typically used for co-ops, practicums, and internships. In order to apply, a student must first have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPT. The employment must be directly related to the student’s major, and it must be an integral part of the curriculum. If the work is not a required or an elective component of the student’s degree program, it might not qualify for CPT.

Determining CPT Eligibility

Students can only use CPT during their program of study. A student is eligible if:

  • The student is in legal F-1 status
  • The student has been lawfully enrolled full time for one full academic year.

Graduate students in programs that require immediate participation in CPT may have the academic year requirement waived.

Four Qualifying Categories of CPT

  1. Degree Requirement: The practical experience is required of all students in the degree program and the major field of study. If a particular major or curricular track requires CPT, the student may qualify.
  2. Regular Course Requirement: The work experience is part of the regular requirement for a course in which a student will be receiving credit. The internship or off-campus component of the course requirement must be stated in the UT catalog. Independent study courses DO NOT normally qualify.
  3. Engineering Professional Practice Co-op Assignment: The work experience is part of a placement made through the Engineering Professional Practice Office into one of their established internship programs. You must be an undergraduate student registered with the Engineering Professional Practice Office and the office placed you with the employer. Graduate Students are NOT Eligible for CPT based on COOP participation in the internship program OR based on registration in COOP 010. Note: there is no curricular tie between registration in COOP 010 and a Master’s or PhD program in Engineering
  4. Thesis/Dissertation Requirement: The work experience is required for completion of the thesis/dissertation, not just related to it. Your committee will not allow you to pass without the work experience. Note: If the experience qualifies through another CPT category (class or degree requirement), you must apply for CPT based on the other category.

Application Procedure

Processing CPT takes two weeks. Processing cannot begin until CGE has received a student’s complete CPT application. Please plan accordingly. Same-day permission is not possible. REMEMBER: You cannot begin employment until CGE has approved your CPT application!

To apply, you must first complete the CPT Online Seminar in Canvas. After completing the seminar, you will have access to the application forms. Complete the forms and submit them to the front desk of CGE.

To enroll in the seminar, go to the Canvas website (https://utk.instructure.com/ ) and follow the instructions below.

  1. Once you have logged in to Canvas, select the “Courses” tab.
  2. Select “All Courses”
  3. Select “Browse More Courses”
  4. Search for “Center for Global Engagement – CPT Online Seminar”
  5. Select “Join this Course” then “Enroll in Course” in the following window.
  6. You should now be able to see and access the seminar in your dashboard.
  7. CGE will remove students from the seminar at the beginning of the following semester, so please be sure to save a copy of the forms/information before then.