Qualified F-1 students may be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to engage in work if the student is registered for an MU internship or practicum course that requires the work and that counts towards the student’s program/graduation requirements. CPT authorization must be received in writing in advance from OIE before beginning CPT work. The work must be offered by a sponsoring employer through a cooperative agreement with Marquette and must be directly related to the student’s major/program of study. (Experiences primarily driven by the need/desire for employment don’t usually qualify for CPT.) The course serving as the basis for the CPT authorization must be for credit or, if not for credit, required for all students in the program. Unpaid internships/practicums for credit require CPT authorization.

Qualifying F-1 students must have completed one full academic year (two semesters) of full-time study in legal status at a SEVP approved school by the requested CPT start date unless the student’s academic program requires immediate participation in a relevant off-campus practicum or internship. The two semesters can include time at a previous school in non-F-1 status if the only break between those studies and the student’s MU F-1 studies is an annual summer vacation or semester break. Students transferring to MU from post-completion OPT cannot count previous studies towards this requirement.

Students applying for CPT must also consider the following limits on CPT timing and duration: 

  1. CPT during the academic year is limited to no more than 20 hours per week and an overall 120:1 work hours to credit ratio.
  2. CPT during the summer may be full-time, but is limited to an overall 180:1 work hours to credit ratio.
  3. CPT must take place during the semester of registration in the practicum/ internship course. CPT extending more than a week before or after the semester will normally not be approved.
  4. CPT may never take place after the SEVIS program end date.

Application Process for CPT

Step 1: Review the Eligibility Criteria for CPT

Refer to the information above and determine if your internship or practicum meets the definition of CPT. It is also suggested that you read the excerpts from the government regulations related to CPT.


Step 2: Gather/Complete the Required Application Items

You will need to work with e your College or Department’s internship coordinator to gather/complete the following items:

  1. A copy of the syllabus/grading details for the class that will be the basis for your CPT experience
  2. A copy of the job description for your proposed CPT experience on company letterhead
  3. The completed form “Request for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Authorization" signed by your College or Department’s internship coordinator and the proposed CPT employer
  4. Register for the corresponding class

Step 3: Submit the CPT Application

Submit your CPT request form, job description and course information to your OIE advisor via email, at a scheduled appointment, or by dropping off at the front desk. Students who meet with their advisor will likely leave the appointment with the CPT authorization on a newly issued I-20 Form. CPT authorization for emailed or dropped of requests typically takes about 5 business days and students will be notified via email when their authorization is ready to pick up.

Remember: You must have your CPT authorization on your new I-20 before starting employment.

Deadline: Your completed CPT application must be received by OIE at least three weeks before you plan to begin work. Applications submitted after this deadline may not be processed by the requested start date.