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International Student and Scholar Services

F-1 Student Internships

F-1 Students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a program for F-1 international students who want to do an internship related to their major.  You can do CPT anytime during the year, including summer. Internships can be paid or unpaid (both are permitted on CPT). Most students do internships at the end of their junior (third) year.

Note - If you participate in CPT full time (40 hours per week) for more than 12 months, you will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after you graduate.  It is rare for a student to accrue 12 months of CPT while in college, but please keep this in mind.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. You must have been in valid F-1 visa status for two semesters (one academic year)when internship begins
  2. The internship must be directly related to your field of study
  3. The faculty advisor or graduate coordinator in your academic department must approve the internship 
  4. The faculty advisor or graduate coordinator in your academic department must assist you to enroll in an internship, work/study, cooperative education, or practicum course in your field of study (at least one unit of credit is required)
  5. Your international student advisor must authorize CPT in SEVIS. You will receive a special I-20 for the duration of each CPT experience.

How to Apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Step 1
Read CPT Guidelines (PDF) and Instructions (PDF).

Step 2
Make an appointment at the Career Center to create a professional U.S.-style resume.

Step 3
Apply for internships on Handshake or through another trusted site.

Step 4
Obtain permission from your major advisor or graduate coordinator on the CPT recommendation form.

Step 5
Submit the CPT application and recommendation forms (PDF) to your international student advisor.

Step 6
For paid internships only: Apply for a Social Security Number.


Find On-Campus Jobs

Chico State students can find on-campus jobs by logging into Handshake with their student portal login.

Search For On-Campus Jobs in Handshake