Santa Clara University


Curricular Practical Training

An international student who has been enrolled full-time at Santa Clara University for one full academic year may be eligible to work off-campus in work which is directly related to his/her program of study. USCIS student regulations call this Curricular Practical Training (CPT) which should not be confused with Optional Practical Training (the 12 months of employment authorization available following graduation from Santa Clara University).  NOTE: Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT.

The regulations at 8 CFR 214.2 (f)(10)(i) define curricular practical training as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Curricular practical training is available to F-1 students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least nine consecutive months. In most cases, curricular practical training will not be authorized if it results in a work commitment of more than twenty hours/week while a student is enrolled in classes.

Only part-time employment will be authorized while school is in session. During the summer break full-time employment can be authorized. Note that CPT is not authorized with a reduction in course load, except during a student's final term if less than a full course load is needed to graduate.


  • The requirements to be eligible for Curricular Practical Training include: The student must have been in full-time status for at least 3 consecutive quarters. Completion of an academic year satisfies this requirement even if the enrollment was not continuous due to summer vacation (i.e. winter enrollment, spring enrollment + summer vacation + fall enrollment = consecutive enrollment for an academic year). In addition, there are unit prerequisites that must be completed depending on one's program of study.
  • To qualify, the student must be in good academic standing, making normal progress, and must be registered for enrollment in either a cooperative education program or an internship class at Santa Clara University.
  • The employment must clearly be related to the student's field of study.
  • A department that offers "curricular practical training" must list the training opportunity as a course in the course catalog, list the units the student will receive for the CPT, and list the course title as it will appear on the Academic Transcript.
  • Students are not eligible for curricular practical training AFTER they have completed their degree.
  • The student must receive employment authorization before actually starting work.

WARNING: Failure to enroll in and complete the co-op/internship class will result in immediate violation of your legal status and could be cause for deportation. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all requirements of Curricular Practical Training.