Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus employment or training related to your field of study. The key aspect of CPT is that it is granted on a quarterly basis. You must be registered for a course (i.e., internship course, independent study, directed research, etc.) where you will receive unit credit for the CPT training or work.  Any additional requirements for the course (e.g., a paper, presentation) will depend upon what you and the instructor for the course agree upon.  You need to be registered in this course during each of the academic terms that you intend to be involved in the CPT training.  If you plan to engage in summer CPT, you will have to register for a course through Summer Sessions.


  1. To be eligible for CPT, you must have been in F-1 student status for at least one academic year (3 quarters). The three quarter rule does not apply to you if you transferred to UCSB from a school within the United States.
  2. During the academic term, you are only eligible for part-time CPT (20 hours/week).
  3. During break periods between quarters and during the summer break, you are eligible for full-time CPT (up to 40 hours/week).
  4. If you are already employed 20 hours/week during an academic term (e.g., 50% TA ship), you cannot engage in off-campus CPT at the same time.
  5. Throughout your degree program, you are eligible to take part in as much CPT as the curriculum, or your academic department, will permit. However, the CPT authorization cannot go beyond the completion date of your degree program.
  6. You can begin your training only after receiving CPT authorization. The authorization cannot be back dated.


  1. Meet with your major or academic advisor to determine eligibility to enroll in CPT course and provide Academic Advisor Recommendation form for them to complete and return to you.
  2. Receive internship offer letter from company on official letterhead that meets the following requirements:
    • Name and address of employer (including zip code)
    • Supervisor’s name and title
    • Position offered, including a description of the work
    • Specific employment start and end dateHourly or weekly wage
  3. Submit CPT request form, offer letter, advisor’s recommendation at least 3 weeks before start date of internship.
  4. OISS will provide a new I-20 with CPT authorization on page 2. Please review information for accuracy.

To participate in CPT, you must receive work authorization from the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS). CPT does not require an application to the USCIS or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). OISS will give you a new I-20 that includes the valid CPT training period.

Guidelines for the Job Offer Letter
You will need a job offer letter from your employer. The letter must be on original company letterhead and signed by your supervisor. It must include:

  • Name and address of employer (including zip code)
  • Supervisor’s name and title
  • Position offered, including a description of the work
  • Specific employment start and end date
  • Hourly or weekly wage
  • Number of hours to be worked each week

Guidelines for the CPT Application Package
Gather all your documents. Submit your complete package to OISS at least two weeks before your employment start date. The package will include:

Completed CPT Request Form

□  Original job offer letter from company

□  Copy of class schedule from GOLD showing enrollment in CPT course

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and will result in a delay in CPT approval.