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International Student Services


F-1 Employment: Curricular Practical Training

You must complete a workshop about Curricular Practical Training prior to getting your application approved. See the right-hand column for information about our online workshop and in-person workshops. After watching/attending a CPT workshop, you can obtain your CPT Application from the ISS Forms Library.

To be authorized for Curricular Practical Training, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have been fully enrolled as a student for at least one academic year (nine months).
  2. Your graduation cannot be delayed due to your Curricular Practical Training.
  3. The proposed employment must be an integral part of your program of study. CPT must be very closely related to your academic work. Please see the options below to learn more about how CPT can work for you.
  4. You need to have an offer of employment.
  5. You need to determine which type of CPT you want to utilize (Course Required, Dissertation Research, or Career Center).
  6. Complete the respective CPT application (see the ISS Forms Library).
  7. After completing the CPT application, you need a new Form I-20, which your international student advisor will provide to you.
  8. During the fall and spring semesters, you can only work 20 hours per week total, on-campus and off-campus combined. The only exception to this is if you have an approved exemption from full-time enrollment from ISS.

Types of Curricular Practical Training at USC:

Course Requirement CPT
You may be eligible for Course Requirement CPT if:
  • You have a mandatory internship course in your program.
  • You are enrolled in a credit-bearing elective that requires practical experience as part of the course.
  • The course in which you will be enrolled is during the same semester of your employment.
Dissertation Research CPT
You may be eligible for Dissertation Research CPT if:
  • In order to write your dissertation, you need to collect data through an off-campus work experience.
  • You will be enrolled in dissertation prep hours for the entirety of your off-campus work experience.
  • You are NOT in your final semester of study. (Dissertation prep CPT is not permitted during your final semester.)
Career Center CPT
You may be eligible for Career Center CPT if:
  • You have set up your internship opportunity with one of the Experiential Educators in the Career Center
  • You must be registered for the Community Internship Program (CIP) or co-op by the Add/Drop date of classes each semester.
  • Your employment opportunity is an internship opportunity (not just part-time or full-time employment).
  • Your employment opportunity will be on site (not virtual)
  • You will work for at least 20 hours/week for 12 weeks or 40 hours/week for 12 weeks