University of Wisconsin–Madison

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a type of off-campus employment authorization for an opportunity to start and end prior to your degree completion. All employment must be directly related to your declared major(s) and be a required or integral part of the curriculum of your degree program. In most cases, course enrollment is required for the semester during which CPT is requested.

  • CPT Eligibility

    CPT Eligibility Requirements*

    • Enrolled full-time for at least one academic year (nine months)
    • In valid F-1 student visa status
    • Secured employment offer directly related to declared major(s)
    • Internship/Co-op experience is required of all degree program participants OR enrolled in appropriate course with department

    *If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for CPT, pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be an option.

  • CPT Application Process

    Application Requirements

    • Completed ISS CPT Application
    • Registered for appropriate course, as indicated on page 3 of CPT application (if applicable)
  • CPT Allowable Dates

    Dates of CPT

    • Start date: must be after one year of full-time enrollment has been satisfied
    • End date: must end prior to I-20 end date
    • Accumulating 365+ days of full-time CPT makes you ineligible for post-completion OPT

    Summer CPT

    • Earliest start date: day after Spring semester ends
    • Latest end date: day before Fall semester begins

    Fall CPT

    • Earliest start date: day after 8-week summer session ends
    • Latest end date: day before Spring semester begins

    Spring CPT

    • Earliest start date: day after Fall semester ends
    • Latest end date: day before 8-week summer session begins
  • CPT Extensions

    In most cases, course enrollment must first be verified before CPT authorization can be granted. If the CPT experience will extend beyond the semester for which you have been authorized, you have two options available to request an extension of your CPT authorization. CPT extensions can only be requested if all employment information and course enrollment will remain the same. Otherwise, you must submit a new CPT application.

    Option 1: Indicate the true CPT experience end date on the original application. Email ISS to request the CPT extension after you have enrolled for the appropriate course, as indicated on the CPT application, for the semester for which you are requesting the CPT extension.

    Option 2: Submit written approval from both the advisor and employer who signed the original CPT application form that both parties agree to the new CPT end date. (Forwarded emails or a letter on letterhead are acceptable).