Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your program of study (major, not minor). Practical training can include internships (paid or unpaid), paid training programs, employment, or practicums. All internships that international students complete while at Luther must be authorized as CPT, and must be done for credit. CPT must be part of an established curriculum and must be integral to your major (not minor). CPT during a school semester will be limited to 20 hours per week, but during breaks such as January term or summer it may be either part- or full-time.  If you exceed 365 days of full time CPT, you are not eligible to apply for OPT.  (Please note that on-campus work study is treated separately from CPT, and as per F-1 regulations cannot exceed 20 hours per week while classes are in session)

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be on an F-1 student visa
  • Be registered full time
  • Have been a full time student for one academic year before beginning CPT
  • Have declared a major and plan to complete your degree at Luther
  • Have been offered a job or internship that is directly related to your major and approved for credit by your major department

At Luther, it is the responsibility of your academic major department to determine whether the proposed off campus training experience is curricular, i.e. related to your major, and worthy of academic credit.  You should discuss the internship with faculty in your area of study to determine its relevance to your major and the number of credits.

The Process to Apply for CPT at Luther

  • Pick up an internship registration form from the Career Center (Union 2nd floor).

  • Acquire a signature by a representative of your Major department, designating the amount of academic credit.

  • Return completed form to the Career Center, which will submit it to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will contact the DSO / CIES to confirm.

  • Fill out the CPT Registration Form for CIES.  The DSO will print a new I-20 demonstrating CPT approval.  This I-20 is the only authorization you need to show your employer if required.

  • If you are on campus, it is best to physically sign your I-20 (pick up at the CIES office when DSO notifies you it is ready).

  • Participate only within the dates authorized on your I-20.  To extend your employment without authorization constitutes a violation of your visa status.