Curricular Practical Training

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Regulations for Experiential Learning (Co-op)

F-1 status holders participating in experiential learning in the U.S., whether paid or unpaid, is referred to in 8CFR214.2(f)(10) as Curricular Practical Training (CPT). To engage in CPT, F-1 status holders must have completed one academic year (30 weeks) of full-time study in lawful immigration status in the U.S.

There are two exceptions to this rule: 1) for graduate students who are required to complete experiential learning during the first year of study; 2) for experiential learning opportunities that are conducted outside the U.S. for foreign-based employers.

All CPT opportunities conducted in the U.S. or conducted outside the U.S. for a company based in the U.S. must be authorized by UC International Services on your I-20 form. Failure to obtain authorization on the I-20 form is a violation of your F-1 status.

CPT opportunities conducted outside the U.S. for non-U.S. employers does not require authorization on the I-20 form, but the Curricular Practical Training eForm must still be submitted.

Authorization Process

All experiential learning opportunities for F-1 students, whether paid or unpaid, and whether conducted inside or outside the U.S., must be registered with UC International Services. Students are required to submit the Curricular Practical Training eForm in the iBearcatsGlobal system prior to engaging in any experiential learning opportunity. UC International Services will then authorize CPT on the F-1 student I-20 form when necessary. In addition, students must be registered for the appropriate course during the semester they’re engaged in CPT (0 credit hour co-op, capstone, capstone course, etc.).


iBearcatsGlobal is the system that you will use to fill out forms, set up appointments with UC International advisors and maintain your visa status in the United States.

Submit a Form

  1. Login to iBearcatsGlobal
  2. Click on your visa type
  3. Select the form: [Curricular Practical Training]
  4. Follow the instructions in form: [make sure you list your co-op advisor, not your college academic advisor, as the second approver]
  5. Upload any required documents to the form: [Employer Offer Letter]

Contact UC International

UC International Services can help you with questions about your visa status, work authorization, taxes and more.

General Questions