Curricular Practical Training

You are not authorized to work off campus without prior approval from the International Student Program office and USCIS.   After one year in F-1 status at SJCC, students may be eligible for CPT if their degree program offers and approves an internship in their field of study.

What Is Curricular Practical Training?

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment option available to F-1 students who are pursuing a degree program at San Jose City College and want to gain practical training in their field of study. CPT is not meant to be a work opportunity and should not interfere with your primary academic purpose. The opportunity must be an integral part of your degree program of study (directly related) to be considered for CPT.  

What Types of Positions are Allowed? 

CPT may be authorized for a paid or unpaid position. Employment may include internships, practicums, or cooperative education opportunities. The positions are generally off campus. 

What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Apply for CPT Authorization?

• Currently enrolled full time (Fall/Spring) unless approved for a Reduced Course Load.  

• Currently in valid F-1 status for 1 year (2 academic semesters) at SJCC and in good academic standing (2.0 cumulative GPA). 

• Currently pursuing a degree program at SJCC .

• Proposed employment opportunity is an integral part of the degree program of study.

• Completed a minimum of 9 units in your major program (general education courses not applicable) at SJCC.

How Do I Apply for CPT? 

  1. Find an internship opportunity directly related to your major of study. 
  2.  Obtain an internship offer letter on company letterhead from the employer listing the following:
      • Job title
      • Description of your duties
      • Pay rate,
      • Start and end dates
      • Number of hours work per week,
      • Exact physical address of location of employment
      • Employer contact information
      • Employer Identification Number 
  3. Complete the student portion of the CPT Request form.
  4. Schedule an appointment with the division dean/department head. Bring the CPT Request form and the employer letter to the division dean (or designee) to discuss the internship opportunity and how it is related to your major field of study.
  5. If the division dean (or designee) approves the employment as integral to your program of study, he/ she will sign the CPT form. 
  6. Submit the completed CPT Request form to the International Student Program office. At this point, the International Student Program will review your CPT Request forms and documents. If you are approved for the CPT, the international program advisor will add the CPT approval to your I-20 and help you with obtaining a SSN if needed.
  7. Sign up for the department internship or WE-088A course. Please note if neither course is offered for that term, CPT will not be available for that term. 
  8. Meet with the WE-088A professor or department professor and determine your Learning Outcomes/Plan 
  9. Provide the Learning Outcomes/Plan form to the International Program within 3 weeks of course start date. Failure to provide the plan may result in forfeiture of your CPT authorization and jeopardize your F-1 status. 

NOTE: CPT is authorized on a semesterly basis only for a specific time frame and employer listed on your I-20. You are not authorized to begin work until the International Student Program Designated School Official officially approves the CPT by adding it to your I-20 and you are officially enrolled in department internship/WE-008A for academic credit. Unauthorized employment may result in the termination of your SEVIS record. 

May I change employers?

No. You may only work for the employer listed on your I-20. 


May I work for multiple employers in the same term?

Yes. You may work in multiple positions as long as you under 20 hours a week.


May I extend my CPT?

No, you may only renew your CPT at the beginning of the next semester.

How Many Units Do I Sign Up For? 

You may be eligible to register for the maximum 6 total units allowed by the department for work experience or 6 units of WE-088A during your whole study at SJCC. 

Paid hours
 Unpaid hours
Register for
1 unit 
2 units
3 units 
4 units 
5 units
6 units

How Many Hours Can I Work Per Week? 

During the Fall and Spring semester, you may work part-time. Part-time CPT is 20 hours or less per week. During the summer, you may work full-time. Full-time CPT is more than 20 hours per week.


How will CPT impact my OPT period?

If you have a part-time ( under 20 hours a week) CPT, it will not affect your OPT.  After completing one year or more of full-time CPT, you will no longer be eligible for OPT at the associate degree level.  

You can find more information about CPT Requirements here.

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