Curricular Practical Training

International students in F-1 status may engage in curricular practical training (CPT) while enrolled at Lewis & Clark with permission from International Students and Scholars (ISS). Curricular practical training is defined by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”

Curricular practical training may be authorized if:

  1. the student has been in F-1 status for at least one academic year. (Students studying in ESL programs are not eligible).
  2. the program is an integral part of an established curriculum, which at Lewis & Clark is defined as a “practicum” or “independent study” course (e.g. IA 444, Econ 244, PSYCH 499).
  3. the faculty member will grant permission to enroll in the course.
  4. the student has a written offer of employment.

Summer CPT Information for Faculty

If international students will be doing Curricular Practical Training during the summer, they must sign up for an internship (244 or 444) or independent studies (299 or 499) course with a faculty member.  Otherwise, the student would be in violation of U.S. immigration regulations prohibiting off-campus employment (credit-bearing internships are exempted). 

Students who sign up for independent studies over the summer need to know that they will be paying Lewis & Clark tuition for the experience and the credit.  Make sure that you alert them in advance. 

Students who are taking a for-credit internship off-campus must pay a nominal processing fee of $225.  However, faculty sponsors are not paid for overseeing the internship.

Applying for Curricular Practical Training

In order to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you need to bring the following documents when you meet with an ISS staff member.  This must be done prior to the first day of your internship.

1. CPT Application, completed by you and signed by your professor

2. Letter from your employer according to the following instructions:

  • Printed on company letterhead
    • Include the address where the student will work
    • List the start and end dates of employment (dates should fall within semester beginning and end dates)
    • Include the approximate number of hours worked per week
    • List the salary (if any)
    • List the supervisor’s name and contact information

View a sample employer letter.

3. A copy of the course description from the catalog.

4. Proof of enrollment in the class (Reg sheet, add/drop slip, WebAdvisor print out, transcript, etc.).  You will register for the course by completing the Internship/Practicum process with the Registrar’s Office.

The ISS staff will determine your CPT eligibility and, if approved, issue you an updated I-20 with the CPT information.