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FAQ: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

What is CPT?
CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training. This is an opportunity for enrolled students to apply their academic content to applicable work practice. Some students are required to complete an internship, practicum, clinical rotation, or field experience in order to graduate. Others want to engage in a practical training experience that is integral to their academic program, to apply their knowledge and gain skills before graduating. In either case, a request for CPT authorization must be submitted to your DSO for review and approval before the work experience can begin.
When can I use CPT?
Students who have completed one year of study at an approved SEVP-certified U.S. college, university, conservatory, or seminary are eligible to apply for CPT while studying at TWU. The work experience should start and end in the semester that correlates to the registered course. A new request must be submitted each semester.
What are the start and end dates of CPT?
If it is your first semester at TWU in F-1 status (and you have completed one year of study at an approved SEVP-certified U.S. college, university, conservatory, or seminary) your CPT can be authorized starting the first class day of the semester.

If you are a continuing student at TWU your CPT may have a start date as early as the day after the last class date of the previous semester.

If it is your last semester at TWU, your CPT end date can be no later than the Program End Date printed on your Continued Attendance I-20.

If it is not your last semester, your end date for CPT can be authorized through the day before the first class day of the next semester.
Do I already need to have a job before applying for CPT?
Yes, your internship or work experience should be secured before submitting your CPT request in the International Portal. Nursing students with assigned clinicals will need to upload their signed CPT - Clinical Nursing form. Students who have a required internship, practicum, or field experience with placement managed by faculty will need to upload their signed CPT - Required practicum/internship/field experience form. Students whose CPT is not mandatory, but have secured a job that is integral to their studies must upload a job offer letter on employer letterhead, a job description of the duties, and the signed CPT - Cooperative Education Agreement. All documents must be uploaded into the International Portal as a part of your request. CPT can be paid or unpaid.  
How do I submit my CPT request?
Once you have registered for the class that will align with your work experience in Student Self Service, go to, hover over Current Students, click on Student Requests, and then on Curricular Practical Training. Select the appropriate semester, log in, read through the Learning Content, upload your required documents, and click on Submit Request.
What class do I need to be registered for?
You will need to be registered for an internship, practicum, clinical, field experience, or other class in which you will be able to receive academic credit for the work experience. You may consult with your academic advisor for course options in your degree plan, and confirm this with your DSO. Please see the list of DSO’s who complete CPT and various requests here.
How long will it take to approve my request?
Once you have submitted your request, it will be placed in the queue for your DSO to review. You will receive notification from your DSO within 2-3 business days via email. You do not need to email the ISSS office to let them know that you request was submitted. Check your email regularly for a response, after submitting your request. Please be aware that you are not authorized to start working until your request has been approved and you have been emailed a CPT authorized I-20.  
Does CPT affect my Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility?
In some cases, yes. If a student as completed 365 days of full-time (more than 20 hours a week) CPT employment at a particular level (e.g. undergraduate or graduate), you will no longer be eligible to work on OPT once you graduate. If you work less than 365 days full-time CPT, or if you work part-time CPT at your academic level your OPT eligibility will not be affected by CPT.

How can I get additional information?
One hour CPT Information Sessions are held regularly throughout the semester. A schedule for the sessions can be found in the Announcements section of the International Portal.