Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

This page briefly explains Curricular Practical Training (CPT). If you have questions, please contact the Ivanhoe International Center (IIC) at 605-394-6884 or ivanhoe@sdsmt.edu.

CPT is defined as being "an integral part of the curriculum", which includes cooperative education and internships.

Students must have the CPT authorization PRIOR to beginning employment.

CPT is authorized for one term at a time, i.e. fall semester, spring semester, or summer.  The student must repeat the process for each subsequent term.  Authorization dates may not match the terms exactly, but will be within a two week time frame of the beginning and end of a term. 

Students must be in F1 student status for a minimum of one academic year and must meet the additional requirements for CPT specified in the student section of this page.

CPT employment is specific to an employer.  The student may not work for other employers during this time frame unless specifically authorized on the I-20 form.  CPT may be full time (more than 20 hours per week) or part time (maximum of 20 hours per week).

CPT time is limited.  If a student uses 12 months of CPT, that student is no longer eligible for optional practical training (OPT) after completion of the degree.  Less than 12 months does not affect OPT or reduce the time available for OPT

Procedures for students, employers and faculty are below.

Students

 

CPT for Students

STUDENTS

You must have work authorization PRIOR to beginning employment. Please review eligibility and processes below.

  • Be in US in F-1 student status for one academic year
  • Be in good academic standing (not eligible if on probation)
  • Follow all guidelines for co-op/internship through Career Center
  • Have a written offer from a company indicating position title and nature of employment, intended dates of employment, and physical location where student will be working. A copy of this offer must be given to the supervising professor and the Ivanhoe International Center.
  • Get approval and be supervised by a professor in his or her academic department (instructions will be sent to professor)
  • Register for co-op credit.  All students participating in CPT MUST be registered for credit.

Graduate students who have completed all of their coursework and are working only on the thesis or non-thesis project are NOT eligible for CPT. Those students should apply for optional practical training (OPT), not CPT.

The Ivanhoe International Center will provide the work authorization after you meet all requirements.

 

 

Employers

 

CPT Information for Employers

Curricular practical training (CPT) for international students may be used for CO-OP and internship opportunities.  An offer letter from the employer is required, stating the nature and dates of employment.  This is the only item that is necessary from the employer for CPT.  The employment authorization is done on campus, so the process is quite fast.  This process applies only to CO-OP and internships prior to graduation.  Please note that the process for hiring a student after they graduate is different.  We have had many international students over the past few years who have successfully participated in our cooperative education program.

CPT is authorized for one term at a time to ensure that the student is meeting the academic requirements for the program.  No additional information is required from the employer if the dates in the original offer letter cover the entire time frame.  The student must meet the eligibility requirements specified in the student section.

Once the student has met the initial requirements of the CO-OP, we will work with the student to complete the necessary paperwork for the student's work authorization.  We will send written information with the student regarding details about the type of work authorization for the I-9 form and tax information.  The "Handbook for Employers (M-274)", pp. 13-14 and page 57, indicate the documents necessary to verify this type of employment.  This handbook is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf.

If you have any questions, please contact us.  We are located in the lower level of Surbeck Center.

 

Faculty

 

CPT Information for Faculty Advisors/Supervisors

Curricular practical training is described as "an integral part of the curriculum", which includes cooperative education and internships.   To be eligible for CPT, the student must:

  • have a valid internship/CO-OP offer from a company (CPT is employer-specific)
  • be supervised by a professor within the academic department (e-mail to IIC to verify)
  • be in valid F-1 status for one academic year (9 months)
  • be registered for CO-OP credit (both graduate and undergraduate) or research credit
  • follow all of the prescribed guidelines for the CO-OP program as published by the Career Planning & Placement office
  • be in good academic standing (Students on academic probation are NOT eligible.)

As the student's CO-OP advisor, please review the following and send the requested information in electronic format to the Ivanhoe International Center.

A statement that you have reviewed the employer's offer letter and plan for the CO-OP or internship program with the student, you are supervising it, and it is an integral part of the student's curriculum.

  • Verification that the student is not on academic probation. We check the GPA's for students, but there may be circumstances of which we are unaware.
  • For Graduate Students ONLY: Confirmation that the student has NOT completed the coursework on the program of study prior to the intended academic term for the CPT. (i.e. completed coursework in Dec., starting CPT in Jan.)
    • If the student has completed coursework and is in the thesis stage of the degree program, the research or other work being performed must be unique and specific to the employer. Examples would be research on a unique project only available in one of the national labs or unique research being performed by only one or two companies in the US.
     

 CPT is authorized for one term at a time, i.e. fall semester, spring semester, or summer.  The student must repeat the same process for each subsequent term.  The authorization may be for part time or full time employment.  Part time authorization is limited to 20 hours per week.  You may want to evaluate the time spent in a CO-OP/internship program in relation to the length of the academic program.  A student must be very careful with the time used for CPT.  If he/she uses a full year, then that student is no longer eligible for OPT.

Once the student has met the initial requirements and understands what is expected at the conclusion of the CO-OP, the student must then complete the necessary paperwork and have the I-20 form endorsed for CPT.  The training authorization does not begin until the day the I-20 form is signed.  Therefore, the student must NOT begin working until all of the paperwork has been completed.

Graduate students who have completed all of their coursework and are working only on the thesis or non-thesis project are NOT eligible for CPT. Those students should apply for optional practical training (OPT), not CPT.