Curricular Practical Training
International students with F-1 visas may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). CPT is defined in the Federal Code of Regulations 8CFR214.2(f)(10)(i) as "alternative work and study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.” The regulations further state that CPT must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.”Enrollment in Internship/Independent Study Units: In order to gain authorization for CPT, a student must enroll in a (internship, independent study, or Special Session) course approved by his/her major. Each department has its own application and approval process for enrollment and decides how many units a particular off-campus work experience will be awarded. The student will need to pay the corresponding fees as appropriate. Generally, Special Session is not available during the summer.
CPT Dates: CPT will be authorized at the most, from the day after the previous term ends, through the term for which you are applying, and until the last day before the new term begins. For example, a CPT application for the Spring semester may be no longer than from the day after the fall semester ends until the day before the summer term begins.Part-Time CPT: (20 hours per week or less) requires that the participant be enrolled as a full-time student during the semester. A minimum of 12 units per term is required for undergraduates and 8-9 units for graduates. Note that an Incomplete grade from a previous term can not be counted toward the full-course requirement for a subsequent term. Only approval of an application for reduced course load signed by an International Student Advisor makes you exempt from these requirements. These applications are approved only in limited, and very specific circumstances. See an International Student Advisor for more information.
Full-Time CPT: (more than 20 hours per week) allows (but does not require) students to take a maximum of 6 units during the semester. These six units include the internship or independent study units for which the student is registered.Effects of CPT on OPT Eligibility: Students who work for 12 months or more of Full-Time CPT are ineligible for OPT. It is therefore the policy of CSU Chico International Student Advising, unless the student requests otherwise, to authorize no more than 11 months of Full-Time CPT. Any number of days worked within a month, will count as one month. For example, working from September 15 to December 31 will count as four full months. Part-Time CPT has no effect on OPT eligibility.
Authorization to Begin Curricular Practical Training: A student may begin Curricular Practical Training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the CPT endorsement on page 3. The endorsement will include the name and address of the Employer, Part-time or Full-time CPT, beginning and end date of CPT. Working off-campus without this endorsement is a violation of F-1 student visa status. CPT is authorized for a specific company. Students may not work for any company other than the one listed on the third page of the I-20. To change companies, a new CPT application must be filed with the International Student Advisors.
Note Regarding CSU, Chico/IBM Partnership for Software Engineering Support at IBM: The IBM partnership is jointly funded by the University Foundation (and meets other requirements as described in immigration regulations), therefore it may be considered an on-campus position. Accordingly, international students may work up to 20 hours per week during the school term and full-time during school breaks without obtaining special permission or work authorization. However, all international students who wish to work more than 20 hours per week during the school term, must apply for CPT or other work authorization through the International Student Advising Office.