1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. DSOs: Read these Reminders Before Authorizing Your Student’s CPT
DSO and student discussing CPT

DSOs: Read these Reminders Before Authorizing Your Student’s CPT

December 12, 2019

If your F-1 international student is interested in curricular practical training (CPT), don’t forget that you must authorize their CPT opportunity before they can participate.

CPT is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required internship or practicum that a sponsoring employer offers through agreements with a student’s school. It occurs before a student’s program end date on the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”

Here’s what you should keep in mind before authorizing CPT for your student:

  • CPT must relate directly to the student’s major area of study and be an integral part of the school’s established curriculum. It can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time.
  • You must authorize CPT in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Please note: SEVIS will not allow you to backdate the authorization.
  • Students must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized.
  • A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement and not before the CPT start date indicated on the form.
  • Student can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time. However, a separate CPT authorization is needed for each employer and each CPT segment.
  • CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or letter from the employer.

For case-specific questions, please contact the SEVP Response Center. Download the Curricular Practical Training Fact Sheet on for more information about CPT and answers to frequently asked questions.

Was This Helpful?
Please provide feedback on this page.