F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training

If you are an F-1 student and have an employment opportunity that will give you practical experience in your field of study before you graduate, such as an internship, you may be eligible for a type of work authorization called Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

CPT work must be an integral part of your curriculum. It must fulfill a requirement for a course you are registered in, such as a required practicum or an internship credit, or help you with research, such as thesis. You will be required to enroll in a corresponding course during the period of time that you will work, or in the term immediately following the work.

For additional information regarding CPT, please visit: Academic > Internships> International > International Practicum > CPT (Curricular Practical Training)

Application Requirements for CPT: 

CPT is provided on a semester basis. Students looking to apply for CPT are to submit proper documentation (please review sample format in CPT application packet) each semester. In the form of an official letterhead, the following must be included for the CPT registration process each semester:
Original job offer letter from the employer including:

  •  Written on company's letterhead
  •  Specify employment address; provide an Illinois address (Students can only work in the State of Illinois; employment outside the State of Illinois is not permitted)
  •  Include job title
  •  Provide job description
  •  Specify part time or full time CPT 
  •  Specify number of hours you will work
  •  Specify exact dates of CPT employment
  •  Specify salary amount/hourly rate
  •  Specify Employment Start and End Dates; must match our semester start and end date
  •  Specify that the company agrees to submit an evaluation of your progress to KSI two weeks prior to the semester/employment end date as part of the company and school cooperative agreement verification.

Under no circumstances will CPT be backdated to include unauthorized work done before it was authorized.

CPT processing time is 2-4 business days upon arrival of the proper documentation. During peak/high volume period (week prior & post registration day), processing may take longer. You may engage in CPT only after you have received your I-20 with the CPT authorization from DSO/PDSO. To avoid date errors, provide your Company Letter, Cooperative Agreement and CPT Application Form one week prior to the semester registration date. This work authorization is only valid for the specific employer, location, and time period as approved and recorded by the DSO/PDSO as evidenced on your I-20 that is issued for CPT.

An evaluation report must be submitted by the company two weeks prior to the Semester End date. If an evaluation report has not been submitted on time, the student will not be eligible to have CPT in the following semester.

Any student who does not follow the above mentioned criteria will not be eligible for CPT or will have their CPT revoked.

For more information regarding CPT, please download our CPT requirements and sample letter. 


KSI enforces the following policies regarding CPT:

  •  You may not use incompletes or deferred grades from a previous semester for CPT authorization
  •  You must attend the monthly seminar for CIS600 for the duration of the semester. Four seminars for Fall and Spring semester and three seminars for Summer semesters.
  •  You must enroll in each semester during which you are pursuing CPT.
  •  Withdrawing from classes or dropping credits that are tied to CPT work authorization immediately cancels the CPT authorization. Work done without this authorization is illegal and a violation of status that will result in termination of your SEVIS record.
  •  If you are authorized for part-time CPT, you may work no more than 20 hours per week.
  •  If you are authorized for full-time CPT, you may work 21 or more hours per week.