Curricular Practical Training

F-1 students may wish to engage in temporary employment off-campus to gain practical experience in their field of study.

One of the two types of off-campus employment that F-1 students can be authorized for is the Curricular Practical Training. 

Note: F-1 students enrolled in an Intensive English Language program are not eligible for any Practical Training.

At VSU off-campus employment can only be authorized if:

  • The F-1 student maintained lawful status and have been enrolled full-time for at least nine consecutive months
  • The student participates in the CO-OP Program or practical training is required by the department for completion of the degree and is an integral part of the degree program (internship course).
    • Employment ties in to the student's field of study/

CPT may be part-time or full-time. Employment for 20 hours per week or less is considered part-time; more than 20 hours is considered full-time. Students pursuing CPT during a regular academic term must be enrolled full-time for academic credit, regardless of whether the employment is full-time or part-time. During vacation periods, students receiving CPT authorization may need only to enroll part-time for academic credit, depending on whether the training is required or optional.

  • The amount of CPT is not limited by the immigration regulations.

Note: Students who have received one year or more of full-time curricular practical training authorization are ineligible for Optional Practical Training. Part-time curricular practical training is not counted toward the one-year threshold at which a student loses eligibility for optional practical training. Students do not obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) for this type of practical training.

CO-OP Procedures:

  • Obtain CO-OP authorization letter from your international student advisor. Click here to down load the CPT Request form.
  • Apply for CO-OP through the CO-OP Office to gain approval. The CO-OP office will write a letter outlining your work assignment and send the CO-OP Approval form to the CIP.
  • Assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, a new I-20 will be ready for you to pick up within 2-3 business days. You will be notified when you can come by the CIP to pick up your update I-20. You must have the new I-20 with the CPT authorization in your possession to begin work. The I-20 with the CPT authorization is proof of employment eligibility, which students need to show to their employer. The CPT work authorization is valid only for the employer and dates indicated on the I-20.
  • Enroll in CO-OP hours prior to the end of Registration for the term that you plan to work.

Please complete the Off-Campus Employment Request Form and return it to the International Student Coordinator, Ms. Lauren Braun at the Center for International Programs.