Welcome to CPT

CPT is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: “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.” Source: [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)].

  1. F-1 visa holders are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    • Integral part of the school’s curriculum
    • Aims to provide real-life experience related to the student’s major.
    • Allows students to work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week).
  2. Off-campus employment requires CPT authorization
    • CPT is only available to currently enrolled students
    • Students must have a job offer at the time of application.
  3. Applications for CPT can be submitted up to 30 days before the desired start date.
    • Initial Review will take 14 business days – not including weekends
  4. Students needing a Social Security Number (SSN) for CPT must apply at least 4 weeks before the desired start date and can apply up to 60 days in advance.
    • We cannot pre-approve applications for students that still need to apply for their SSN
    • The SSN office only accepts applications for students whose CPT starts within 30 days.


During peak season please expect longer than usual processing times.  Please apply a month ahead of time.

ONLY if you are applying to start CPT in December or January you may apply up to 2 months ahead of time due to the holiday breaks. 

Trine University will be fully closed for Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Years.

Fall: July 22 to September 16
Spring: November 9 to February 10
Summer: April 14 to July 4

  1. Timing of I20 and CPT Start Date
    • Initial review of CPT applications will take up to 14 business days.
    • Students have 5 business days to update their application if further information is requested – if updates are not completed during this time the application will be closed
    • If applying during peak season, plan to apply 30 days before your desired start date due to high volume of applications.
    • We will not expedite CPT applications for any reason.
    • Your CPT start date can be on or after the program start date
  2. Prerequisites for CPT
    • Students must have an SSN to start CPT immediately.
    • Keep a cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • Take and Pass the CPT course: BA 6000Z Graduate Internship every semester you are authorized to work
  3. To Gain Access to CPT Application
    • Complete an Intent to Enroll form
    • Pay the $500 Enrollment Fee.
    • Allow 3-5 business days for Suncas account activation
  4. SEVIS Transfer:
    • Can apply for CPT prior to SEVIS transfer.
      • Applications regarding students whose SEVIS is already transferred to Trine will be prioritized.
      • Those without SEVIS records may not be reviewed until your SEVIS is transferred depending on current volume of applications
    • SEVIS must be transferred before your requested CPT start date
      • If SEVIS is not transferred by your CPT start date, your application will be closed and pre-approval revoked
    • Must transfer SEVIS before class start date to keep F1 Visa Status
    • CPT Authorization can take 3-5 business days from date of SEVIS transfer if you have received pre-approval
  5. Communications
    • All CPT updates and I20 will be sent to Trine student email
  6. Transition from OPT:
    • May take PTO during transition period
    • CPT Authorization can take 3-5 business days from date of SEVIS transfer if you have received pre-approval.
    • OPT will terminate once SEVIS is transferred
    • Expect to take 3-5 days off work while your documents are processing
  7. SEVP Portal Closure (Current OPT Students only)
    • SEVP Portal is OPT only. It will close once your OPT ends.
    • Will Not affect CPT
    • CPT cannot be updated using SEVP Portals

Document Delivery: All Trine I20 will be electronically sent to Trine student email accounts.

If your Employer wants a physical copy of your I20, you may print the PDF.

*Incoming students requesting CPT will receive their I20 once all CPT requirements are met.  They will not need to wait the normal 2-3 weeks after classes start.

  1. Go to the Suncas Immigration Advising Portal: https://suncas.trine.edu/
  2. Click on New Student/Alumni Login
  3. Click Email me my Limited Service Pin
  4. Type in your Student ID number.  This number can be found in your Acceptance Letter.
  5. Your Limited Services PIN will be emailed to the email you used to apply for Trine University.
  6. If you receive the error seen below, it means your International student account has not been activated yet.  Please make sure you completed the Intent to Enroll Form and paid the Enrollment Fee.  It can take up to 5 business days after you have completed the necessary work for your account to be activated.
  7. Once you have received your PIN, go back to the Suncas Immigration Advising Portal and click on New Student/Alumni Login again
  8. Input the requested information and click login
  9. Once you login, you will see the following page.  On the left hand side, select Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  If you do not see this, it is likely your Visa status in our system is not F1.  Only students on an active F1 Visa can access this application.  You will need to complete the Change of Visa Status form and wait for it to be processed before you will be able to apply for CPT.
  10. Read through the information, including that found on our CPT Webpage and select the CPT Application once you are ready to apply:
  11. You must complete all 5 forms for your application to be submitted.  You will receive an email stating your application was submitted successfully if we have received your application.
  12. In the Student Experiential Learning Request Form, you will have a link to download both the file and instructions.  Please follow the instructions as it gives you a very detailed breakdown of what information we need in each section.
  13. You will need to download a new blank agreement each time you apply for CPT.  The document is updated every semester and we cannot accept old files.

In order to apply for CPT you must currently:

  1. Applied for and be accepted to a Trine University Hybrid Program
  2. Be in the US on an active F1 Visa – if you are currently on H1B, you will not have access to the CPT application until your Change of Visa Status request has been processed
  3. Be registered for classes
    • Minimum of 6 credit hours each semester
    • If you only need your capstone class to graduate, you may work on CPT while only completing the 3 credit course.
    • Incoming students do NOT need to register for their first semester before applying for CPT
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • If you are an incoming student, you will not have a GPA.  If your GPA at the end of your first semester is under 3.0, your work authorization will be terminated.
    • GPA is calculated at the end of every semester for CPT.  If your GPA falls below 3.0 in Term I, you will be able to increase your GPA during Term II before your CPT is terminated.
  5. Participate in and Pass the CPT course (Graduate Internship) every semester you have work authorization.

Timeline for Students that have SSN:

cpt timeline 1


Timeline for Students that need to apply for SSN:

cpt timeline 2

Students must apply between 14 business days and 30 days before their desired CPT start date.

Students without an SSN should apply 30-60 days before their Desired Start date.

CPT Applications must be approved, processed, and work must start prior to the last month of each semester.

Unless you are currently authorized for CPT you cannot start Initial CPT between the following dates:

Summer 2023-2024:
July 9, 2024 to July 21, 2024

Fall 2024-2025:
November 19, 2024 to December 8, 2024

Spring 2024-2025:
April 8, 2025 to May 11, 2025

Earliest day you can request to start working each term:

Fall I: July 22, 2024
Fall II: September 23, 2024 (Incoming Students Only)
Spring I: December 9, 2024
Spring II: February 10, 2025 (Incoming Students Only)
Summer: May 12, 2025

  • Applications are always open – however – you cannot start work before your program start date.
  • Requested CPT start/end dates must within 1 year of each other. CPT requested dates are NOT your employment dates
    • Example: Start date – April 20, 2024, End Date – April 19, 2024
  • If you have authorization on your I20, you may work during academic breaks – including Summer.
  • If you plan to apply for OPT after graduation, you can only work Full Time on CPT for 12months. Part Time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility

1. Job Offer:

  • Be written on the company's letterhead
  • Be addressed to you or your Trine student email
  • Include job title
  • Provide job description that is related to your Trine major
  • Specify the employment address (street, city, state, and zip code) and contact information (phone number and email).
  • Specify if the employment is full-time or part-time
  • Specify your Start Date – We can accept old offer letters as long as they do not have an end date.
  • Specify your end date if your job will be less than 1 year

2. Job Description Accepted Alternatives: (If not written on the Job Offer)

The job description should be on company letter head.  If this is not possible, please find the alternatives listed below.

All documents must have the following: Company Name, Job Title, Description of your job

  • Job description from job hunting website like Indeed, Glassdoor or LinkedIn
  • Official email from your Manager or HR representative with their work signature
  • Document signed by your manager

3. Employer CPT Agreement:

You will need to download the CPT Agreement form in the CPT application.  Both you and your employer must sign this document and upload it to the form before submitting the CPT Application.

Instructions on how to complete this form can be found in the CPT application.

Once you have a job offer letter and a signed CPT agreement, you can apply for CPT on the current student request form.  You must have a both of these documents before you can apply.

If your employer refuses to sign the CPT agreement, we can accept a letter written by your employer on company letter head stating the following:

  1. Acknowledgement that the student is on CPT
  2. Student’s full legal name
  3. Student’s Job Title
  4. Employer’s Signature

This letter can be uploaded in lieu of the agreement in the Student Experiential Learning Form found in the CPT application

If your company refuses to sign the agreement and will not write a letter stating the required information you will not be able to work for them under CPT.  There are no exceptions.  This document is required by USCIS and you will need it should you apply for OPT, H1B, or any other US Visa.

Students can apply up to 30 days before their requested CPT start date.  If you apply less than 2 weeks before your desired start date, there is a strong possibility you will not be able to start working on the requested date.  All CPT application are reviewed in order by date of submission.  All requests to expedite applications will be denied.

If you need to apply for an SSN, you must apply for CPT 1-2 months before your desired start date.  Should you not request CPT early enough, your application may be denied.

To submit the CPT application, you must complete all 5 forms.  Only fill out each form one time. You will receive an email letting you know your application has been submitted successfully if you completed the forms correctly.

Apply here for CPT: https://suncas.trine.edu

Click here for a guide on how to fill out the form.

To extend your current CPT or change employers, you must complete a new application and allow for the 2 weeks processing time. We cannot guarantee you will be able to continue working without a gap in employment if you do not apply a full 2 weeks before your current CPT authorization ends.

Students are allowed to work 1 full time CPT and 1 part time CPT simultaneously.  You cannot work 2 full time jobs.  However, you may work 2 part time jobs on CPT.  No student may work 3 jobs at the same time under CPT. 

To apply for a second job, you must complete a new CPT application and be authorized to work.  You will receive an updated I20 that shows 2 CPT authorizations.

Students must apply for CPT at least 4 weeks prior to their desired start date if they need to apply for an SSN.  They may apply up to 2months before their desired start date.

The school will supply the following documents that are needed to apply.  Please keep in mind processing times when you complete the requests.

We recommend applying for both the proof of residency and SSN support letter at the same time so you can receive the necessary documents in the shortest time possible. You will need your CPT authorized I20 prior to submitting the SSN Support Letter Request.

Information submitted in the SSN support letter must match your I20 exactly!  If anything does not match, including spelling, the request will be denied.

To apply for an SSN, students must bring the following documents to the SSN office closest to their place of residence:

Once the application has been submitted, it will take a minimum of 2 weeks to receive your SSN.  Should you want an update on your SSN application, you will have to contact the SSN office directly.

All students on CPT will be automatically registered for the CPT course.  You will not be registered when you receive your I20, but the Monday prior to your CPT start date.  If you start working immediately after receiving your I20, you will be registered the Monday after your CPT has started.  If you are not registered for the CPT course within 1 week of starting your employment, you need to email CPT@Trine.edu.  

You must be registered for the CPT course every semester you are working, including Summer Semester.  This is a legal requirement for working on CPT.  Students who are continuing CPT after the semester finishes will be registered for the next semester’s CPT course AFTER the program start date.  You will NOT be registered as soon as class registration opens.  Please do not request to be registered for the CPT course, you will be added automatically.

The CPT course is not part of the required academic courses needed to complete your degree program. As such, you cannot use the CPT course to stand in for one of your required courses.  However, this course is required to participate in CPT. You need to save copies of your CPT course assignments as the CPT course contains legal documents you will need if you apply for OPT or H1B!

The cost of the course is $287.50. The CPT course fee is non-refundable after your CPT authorization starts. 

  • Once you have completed your CPT, you will be dropped from the CPT course within 1week.  Please make sure to save copies of all your course work for your own records before you stop working.
  • The course fee of $287.50 must be paid every semester you are on CPT.
  • You will be registered for the CPT course the Monday prior to your Start Date or after the program start date, not when you receive your CPT I20.

If you cancel or complete your CPT during the semester, you will be withdrawn from the course.  Should you start a new CPT in the same semester, you will be added back into the same section.

Incoming Students: You must be registered for 6 credits – 2 classes – to apply for CPT during the summer term.  You will also be registered for the 0.5 credit CPT course.  You may not use the CPT course as one of your 2 mandatory courses.

Current Students: You do not need to take any academic courses during the summer semester to continue or start working on CPT.  

You must take the summer CPT course, which will be registered for automatically after the Summer program start date. You also must be registered for Fall classes before Spring Commencement.  If you are not registered for Fall courses, your CPT authorization will be terminated prior to summer term and you will need to reapply.

You must complete a new CPT application at least 14 business days before the following changes:

  1. Request to Extend Employment
  2. Change your Employer
  3. Change your Job Title/Job Description
  4. Employer has a legal change of name
  5. Starting a new academic program at Trine University

Delay in CPT: If you need to change your CPT start date for any reason, please email CPT@trine.edu with your new requested start date and your reason for the request.

You must complete the Change of CPT End Date request if:

  1. You are unable to start employment
  2. Your employment is terminated early
  3. Change of Visa Status
  4. Graduating prior to currently authorized CPT end date
  5. Traveling Internationally for more than 1 week

I20 only show currently active CPT authorizations.  If you want your I20 to show your updated CPT end date, you must submit this request at least 1 week before you stop working.

If your company is changing its legal name, you must apply for a new CPT at least 2 weeks before the name change becomes effective.  SEVIS and USCIS will consider this as working for a different company.

Your requested CPT start date in the application should be the day the name change takes effect.  You will need documentation from your employer verifying the change in name and the date their name will legally change.

You will need a new verification letter and job description on the updated employer letterhead when you want to extend your CPT authorization. We can update your employment, keeping your current CPT end date, with only the proof of legal name change.

We do not recommend traveling internationally while on CPT.  If you will be gone for longer than a week or two, we suggest canceling your CPT and completing a new application with a CPT start date after you return to the US. 

If you will be gone for a short period of time or your company has requested you work remotely while abroad, you will need a letter from and signed by your employer on official company letterhead indicating that they have approved your travel outside the U.S. during your authorized employment period and that you will be returning to complete the CPT employment period.  You will also want to prepare proof of funds that shows you can support yourself during your studies.  Please remember that CPT salary cannot be used as proof of funds.

Working while Abroad: If your employer asks you to work remotely or go on an international work trip during an academic break, we suggest speaking to an immigration attorney about the current laws regarding engaging in CPT work while abroad.  These regulations change often, and the university cannot advise on complicated legal matters.

If you will stop working on the CPT authorization end date written on your I20, you do not need to do anything.  You will automatically be dropped from the CPT course.  You do not need an updated I20.

If you CPT Authorized end date is not accurate you will need to submit our Change of CPT End Date Request: https://forms.trine.edu/231284127993866

Please make sure you submit the correct dates.  Once your CPT end date has passed, we will be unable to change it. 

I20 only show currently active CPT.  If you want an I20 with your updated CPT end date, you must complete this request at least 1 week before you stop working.  Once your employment end date has passed, the CPT authorization will not be printed on your I20.

Reasons for completing this form include:

  • Loss of Job/Quitting employment
  • Change of Visa Status
  • Graduating before current Program End date on I20
  • International Travel

If you are changing employment, you will be asked for your current CPT end date in the CPT application.  You do not need to fill out this request form.

Should you need to change your CPT Authorized start date for any reason, you will need to email CPT@trine.edu

If you are graduating and starting a new master’s degree at Trine, you must let us know before you apply for CPT.  Please email us the following:

  1. Name
  2. Student ID number
  3. Current Major and Graduation Date
  4. New Major and semester start date

After we have received you email, you may apply for CPT.  We will put a note on your account to update your program information in SEVIS.

You must stop working as of your current graduation date until you receive an updated I20 with your new program information.  We cannot update your SEVIS before your current program has completed and the new program has started.  Please prepare to take a couple of days leave from work while we process your SEVIS updates.

If your GPA drops below 3.0 or you fail the CPT course your work authorization will end.  We will send an email to your Trine address with a notice of CPT termination stating your new CPT end date. Students are usually given at least 1 weeks’ notice before their CPT is terminated.

If your GPA is below a 3.0, you may apply for CPT again as early as the next term if you have increased your GPA.

If you failed the CPT course, you cannot apply for CPT for a full semester.  For example, if you failed the Spring CPT course, you cannot reapply until the Fall semester.  If you fail the Fall CPT course, you cannot re-apply until Summer semester.

If you stopped working and did not complete the CPT cancellation form before classes ended causing you to fail the CPT course, you will not be able to reapply for CPT during the following semester.  If you stop working before your CPT end date written on your I20, you must fill out the Change of CPT End Date Request.

There are no exceptions! If you have special circumstances such as illness, you must communicate with your professors during classes.  Once final grades are in, we will not change them.

Please complete the Change of Visa Status form found on our International Resource Page: https://www.trine.edu/international/resources/index.aspx.  This will let us know to update your SEVIS record to reflect your new visa status. 

Once your Change of Visa Status has been approved by the school, please complete the CPT cancellation form: https://forms.trine.edu/231284127993866  so we can drop you from the CPT course and update your student account. 

Please put the day your H1B Visa became active as your requested CPT end date and select H1B Approval as your reason for submitting the update request.

If you do not complete this, there is a possibility you will be registered for the following semester’s CPT course which will add the CPT fee to your account again. Please note that the CPT course is non-refundable if you did not update the Office of International Services regarding your CPT cancellation due to H1B authorization.

If you are graduating before the date written on your I20, you must fill out the Change of Program End Date form and the Change of CPT End Date Request form.  We cannot authorize CPT after your graduation date. 

Your Program End Date and CPT end date must be correct before applying for OPT.  Please find information on OPT here