CPT Information

International students who are F-1 visa holders are eligible for the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program under Federal regulations and codes. The practical training should relate directly to the student’s major area of study and is an integral part of the school’s established curriculum with the purpose to help students gain real-life experience that can help on their academic studies. Under CPT authorization, students can either work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week).

If a student wishes to accept employment off-campus, the student should pursue Curricular Practical Training (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)]. CPT is available only prior to the completion of the student degree program and student must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.”

You need a job offer letter, be in good academic standing throughout your whole program (3.0 GPA) and be enrolled full-time (6 credits) to work on CPT. You can apply for part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours). Please see the “OPT Eligibility” for more information on OPT.

The whole CPT process can take up to two weeks. You must apply two weeks before your employer start date. We can’t process CPT applications more than 30 days before your employer start date. You must have received your I20 with CPT authorization and wait until your employment start date to legally start working.

New students: The earliest date you can start your employment each semester is on program start date. International orientation

Current students: The last day to start CPT is 4 weeks before the end of the semester. Trine Online calendar

Please note that starting and applying for CPT are not the same thing. You need to apply for CPT at least 2 weeks before you plan on starting CPT. If you do not have an SSN, you need to apply for CPT at least 4 weeks before your CPT start date. After your CPT is processed, you will receive information on how to apply for an SSN.

If you have any questions please email us at cpt@trine.edu.


Once you have a job offer letter, you can apply for CPT on the current student request form.

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

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


The CPT offer letter/employment verification letter must: 

  • 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- or part-time 
  • EIN Number or E Verify ID 
  • Specify the exact dates of CPT employment (Start and end date; we can’t authorize CPT for more than a year at a time.)


You must reapply for CPT for any of the following reasons:

  • Change of employer
  • Change of position at the same employer
  • Switching to part-time or full-time
  • If your employer changes their name (In this case, you would need to reapply with an employment verification letter that includes your job description on the new company letterhead.)
  • Continuing your current employment: Your CPT end date on your I20 is the last date you can legally work for the authorized employer given good academic standing and success in CPT course. Therefore; you will need to reapply two weeks before your current employment ends if you’re continuing your employment.


You must inform us immediately if:

  • You stopped your employment
  • Never started your employment

Please email cpt@trine.edu to inform us.

We cannot backdate CPT. If you do not apply at least two weeks before your start date, you risk not being able to start your employment on time.

We can only authorize CPT for one year at a time. If you are planning on continuing CPT, you will reapply for another CPT authorization two weeks before your current end date.

After your CPT is processed, we will send you your I20 with CPT authorization to your Trine email.

After your CPT is approved and processed; we will enroll you in the .5-credit CPT course. You MUST be enrolled in the CPT course every semester as long as your CPT authorization is active. Therefore, if we approved your CPT and you’re not registered for the CPT course, please reach out to us immediately! 

The CPT course is not an academic course that counts towards your program total. You need to save your CPT course assignments, including your CPT agreements. 

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

To maintain CPT, you must remain in good academic standing (3.0 GPA), be enrolled full-time (6 credits) and continue to pass the CPT course. Failing any of these will end your employment immediately!

If you need to extend you CPT, you need to submit a new application two weeks before the end date.

Please note that your “start date” refers to your new CPT authorization. For example, if your current CPT authorization is ending on May 31st, your new start date will be June 1st, to ensure there is no gap in your employment.

If you want to be eligible for OPT, you can't be on CPT full-time for a year.

You will receive information on how to apply for OPT 90 days before your program end date.