Who Can Apply
A degree-seeking F-1 student who:
- Has been enrolled full-time for one full academic year in valid U.S. immigration status:
- Academic year = Consecutive Fall and Spring semester enrollment;
- A transfer student who transferred their I-20/SEVIS record to UW-Madison may qualify if they were previously enrolled full-time enrollment for one academic year;
- A UW-Madison student who changed education levels and was issued a “change of level” I-20 (not “Initial attendance”) may qualify;
- A student who has an approved change of status to F1 may qualify depending on their previous visa status and full-time enrollment for one academic year. Please see an ISS advisor for clarification.
- Is maintaining valid F-1 status.
- Has an offer for a practical training opportunity directly related to their major and degree level as listed on the I-20.
- Is enrolled in an appropriate course for CPT (as determined by the department), or a practical training opportunity/internship/practicum is required to earn the degree.
ESL and non-degree students (VISP, exchange, certificate) are not eligible for CPT.
Types of CPT
There are two types of CPT:
Notes regarding CPT course enrollment:
- You must be enrolled in a CPT course during the semester in which your employment occurs.
- Be aware that adding a CPT course may have an impact on your tuition and fees.
- Failure to complete the CPT course will result in your falling out of legal F-1 status.
- Students who are engaged in thesis/dissertation work and have finished their coursework are still eligible for CPT, only if the CPT is an integral part of their thesis/dissertation or research.
If these do not fit your situation, or you do not want to enroll for an optional/elective of your degree program for your practical training experience, then Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be an option. You can review the CPT-vs-OPT Handout to assess which option is right for you.