Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus employment or an internship related to your major that is a requirement of a course. Authorization for CPT is granted by OISS, and authorization can take about 2 weeks. Be sure to submit your application at least 3 weeks before the desired start date of your employment. No fee is required.

CPT Tutorial

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Per the Code of Federal Regulations under §8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i), you must have been in F-1 student status and enrolled full-time for at least one academic year (3 quarters) in order to be eligible for CPT.  If you transferred to UCSB directly from a post-completion OPT period, please consult with an OISS advisor regarding CPT eligibility in your first year at UCSB. 
  2. You must have at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible.
  3. During the academic term, you are only eligible for part-time CPT (20 hours/week). However, students can work on campus for 20 hours and on CPT for 20 hours per week during the academic term.
  4. During break periods between quarters and during the summer break, you are eligible for full-time CPT (up to 40 hours/week). 
  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.


Student in Lab

How To Apply

  1. Meet with your major or academic advisor to determine eligibility to enroll in an internship course offered by your major department. At this time, let them know that you will be entering their contact information in your CPT request, and that you will be requesting their recommendation.
  2. Receive an internship offer letter on official letterhead from the hiring company or organization that includes the requirements included on the checklist to the right.
  3. Log into the UCSBGlobal platform and submit your CPT request at least at least 3 weeks before start date of internship. If your start date falls within 2 weeks of submission, we will request a new offer letter showing an updated start date.
  4. You will be asked to enter information about your internship and upload a copy of your class schedule from GOLD showing your enrollment in an internship course. You will also be asked to enter your major or academic advisor's contact information.
  5. Please receive a letter from your academic advisor that you will upload in your UCSBGlobal request.
  6. Once your CPT is approved, you will receive an approval notification from OISS. You will be provided a new I-20 with your CPT authorization on page 2. Please review information for accuracy.
  7. You may now begin your CPT employment on the authorized start date! 


Internship Offer Letter Requirements:

  • Offer letter must be on company letterhead
  • Position offered (title), including a description of the work (list of job duties)
  • Specific employment start and end dates (these must match the academic quarter dates in which you’ll be performing your internship)
  • Number of hours per week you will be working

UCSB Advisor Recommendation Requirements:

  • Advisor letter must be on UCSB Department Letterhead
  • Date, student name, and PERM
  • Description of the class, how the internship is an integral part of the curriculum of that particular class, and how specific job duties relate to the coursework.
  • Explain how the internship will be evaluated (for instance, a presentation, paper, or contribute to dissertation research)
  • Advisor's contact information, name, and signature
  • Must contain the phrase "this internship is required for (insert course number)."

Important Things To Note:

  • You may not begin your employment until you have received express CPT authorization from OISS. Working without prior authorization is a violation of your student status and may lead to SEVIS record termination.
  • You will not be permitted to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) if you reach 364 days of full-time CPT.  We recommend capping your full time CPT to 350 days to avoid any miscalculations that may result in going over the 364 day limit.
  • The main objectives of your employment must be directly related to the major shown on your I-20. Make sure your I-20 reflects your correct major and degree level. 
  • Remote work is acceptable for companies based in the U.S. Remote work for companies outside the U.S. is not allowed. 
  • Internship courses must be taken for a minimum of 1 unit. 
  • Summer CPT
    • During the summer, students are welcome to do CPT. The internship course may occur during any of the summer sessions. The minimum number of units for a summer CPT internship class is 1 unit.