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Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is employment or practical training directly related to your academic major/field of study. CPT is approved solely by the Whitworth Office of International Education. You must request to meet with an international student advisor by emailing

CPT "practical training" can include:

  • Employment
  • Internship experience (paid or unpaid)
  • Practicum participation


You must meet the following requirements before applying for CPT:

  • Are currently in valid F-1 status
  • Have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year
    • "One academic year" at Whitworth is defined as two academic semesters.
    • An exception to the academic year rule is given to graduate students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT. The program requirement must be for all students in the program and approved by a faculty advisor.
    • Students who transferred to Whitworth from a previous college or university in the U.S. may count their time at the previous school.
  • Will earn academic credit toward your degree for the CPT experience
    • See more details in the "Credit Requirement" section
    • Consult your academic department/faculty adviser about credits
  • Have a job or internship offer
    • Do not start the job/internship before your CPT is authorized by the international education office.

CPT Credit Requirement

CPT can only be authorized for employment/practical training that is "integral to your academic degree program."

This means that CPT must be:

  • Required for all students in your degree program for graduation or
  • Optional and credit-bearing

Credit requirement for optional CPT:

  • Even if your academic department does not require you to earn credit for optional training/work experience, immigration regulations require you to earn credit.
  • The credit could be internship credit, independent study or similar course through your academic department – your faculty advisor can help identify the appropriate course.
  • The credit must be earned in the same academic term for which CPT is authorized.
  • If you apply for CPT authorization in your final semester, you must register for at least one additional course in addition to your CPT credit. CPT credit cannot be the only credit during your final semester unless it is fulfilling a degree requirement.

CPT Hours

CPT authorization can be:

  • Part-time (20 hours per week or less)
  • Full-time (more than 20 hours per week)
  • During a regular academic semester (you must also register for full-time credits)
  • During Jan Term or the summer break period

Students who accumulate 12 months (365 or more days) of full-time CPT lose their eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Part-time CPT authorization, or fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization, does not affect OPT eligibility.

How to Apply

Important: Do not start a job or internship until you receive CPT authorization from the international education office. This authorization will be in the form of a new I-20.

Application Overview:

  • Contact the international office ( to request a CPT appointment
  • Contact your department/faculty advisor to learn about the course credit options for your prospective CPT
  • Find a job/internship
  • Send a copy of your job/internship offer letter to international office (
  • Request your department/faculty advisor to send an email confirmation that you will receive academic credit for the CPT experience (
  • Wait for the international office to authorize your CPT and produce a new I-20 for you

After CPT Approval

  • Ensure you are registered for academic credit during the term of your CPT
  • Contact the international office if your CPT changes in any way (change of hours, employer, job duties)
  • If your CPT is paid, you must apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

Social Security Number (SSN)

International students employed in the U.S. must have a Social Security number in order to be paid.

How to Apply

  1. Once you are offered a job for your CPT, print your official job offer letter from your employer.
  2. Apply in person at the local Social Security Administration office.
    Address: 714 N Iron Bridge Way, Suite #100, Spokane, WA 99202
    (Contact office to verify operating hours: 800.772.1213.)
  3. Documents to bring: