Curricular Practical Training is period of work authorization commonly known as a co-op, practicum or internship. The work must be an integral part of a student’s degree program.

Click on the titles below for curricular practical training information.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training is period of work authorization commonly known as a co-op, practicum or internship. The work must be an integral part of a student’s degree program.

Students interested in doing a CO-OP or internship, whether paid or unpaid, must complete online seminar on Curricular Practical Training in order to receive the application packet.

Timing is essential if you want to receive the approval for Practical Training in time to start your job. Remember that you must have approval either from CGE or USCIS before you can begin employment or engage in any work activities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as training that must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” The employment must be directly related to a student’s current major field of study. If the work is not a required or an elective component of a student’s degree program, the student will need to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Determining CPT Eligibility

CPT can only be used during a student’s program of study. A student is eligible if:

  • The student is in legal F-1 status
  • The student must have 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.

Students are not limited (in theory) to the amount of CPT they may use.

Note: Students who engage in 12 months or more of full-time CPT are not eligible for any OPT.

Full-time CPT is defined as more than 20 hours per week, while part-time CPT is defined as 20 hours or less per week. Students engaging in part-time CPT must be enrolled full-time (except summer).

In order to apply, students must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as CPT.

Permission to work is granted by CGE. Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period approved by CGE. Each CPT period is granted based on the official UT academic semester calendar published by the Registrar.

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 catalogue. 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.
      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 Material and Steps to Follow for CPT

Students must complete CGE’s online CPT seminar to obtain the necessary information and documents.

A student must submit the following documents listed below as a complete packet in order to obtain permission to engage in CPT.

  1. CPT Form Part 1: Completed by student
  2. CPT Form Part 2: Completed by Academic Advisor
  3. CPT Employer Form: Completed by Employer
  4. Copies of all I-20’s from every school that student has attended
  5. I-94 Printout (can be found at
  6. (Only if applying for a 2nd CPT) CPT Multiple Request Addendum: Completed by Academic Advisor

Processing CPT work authorization 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 you have been granted work permission for CPT on your I-20 by CGE !!

Note: All international students on CPT must maintain the required health insurance coverage.

CPT Online Seminar

CGE’s Online CPT Seminar is now on Canvas. To enroll in the seminar, go to the Canvas website (you can do so from your myUTK account or by going to ).

  1. Once you’ve logged in to Canvas, select the “Courses” tab.
  2. Click on “All Courses”
  3. Then “Browse More Courses”
  4. Then search for “Center for Global Engagement – CPT Online Seminar”
  5. Click on “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. Please keep in mind that you will be removed from the seminar at the beginning of the following semester, so please be sure to save a copy of the forms/information before then.