Welcome to CPT

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.”

Students can apply up to 30 days prior to their desired start date.  If the application is not submitted at least 2 weeks before their desired start date, we cannot guarantee the application will be reviewed by the requested date.

If students need an SSN, they must apply at least 4 weeks before their desired start date and may apply up to 2 months ahead of time.  Please note that the SSN office will only accept applications for students whose CPT starts within 30days. 


You will receive your I20 earlier than other incoming students if you request CPT to start before classes begin.

Incoming students wishing to start CPT immediately must already have an SSN.  You may complete the CPT application no earlier than 30 days prior to your desired CPT start date.  Your CPT start date may be on or after your program start date.  If your program starts in December, and classes start in January, you may start CPT in December.  You do not have to wait until classes begin to start CPT.  

In order to access the CPT application, you must complete and Intent to Enroll form and pay the $500 deposit requested by admissions.  Once that is complete, it can take 3-5 business days for your student account to be activated which will give you access to the CPT application.  It can take up to 2weeks for applications to be reviewed.  It can take longer if we request updated documentation.  Your SEVIS must be transferred to Trine University before you can start working on CPT. While applications for students with a SEVIS record will be prioritized, you may apply for CPT before transferring your SEVIS.  You cannot start working until after your SEVIS has been transferred and your I20 with CPT authorization has been processed. 

All CPT updates and I20 will be sent to your Trine student email once it’s created, not your personal email.  Make sure to check your student email for all important communications from the school!

If you are currently working on OPT, you will need to take leave (PTO or unpaid leave are allowed) after you transfer your SEVIS until you receive a Trine I20 with work authorization on the 2nd page.  To transfer your SEVIS, you must request your current school release your records.  Trine cannot request this for you.  The SEVIS code can be found on your acceptance letter.

Please keep in mind that we cannot activate your I20 before the program start date, so you will not receive a Trine I20 before that date.  As such, you may not receive work authorization on the program start date until late in the day.  We recommend requesting a start date no earlier than the day after your program starts.

During your first semester at Trine, you will receive an email from USCIS stating your SEVP portal will be closed.  This will not affect CPT.  You are receiving this email because your OPT with your previous University has ended.

Note on using PTO:  USCIS does not restrict the use of Company Benefits.  This is up to your Employer to approve.  You do not need to terminate your employment while waiting for work authorization, however, you cannot go to work.  You must take leave (paid or unpaid) until you receive authorization on your I20.

All Trine I20 will be sent to your Trine Student Email.  You can print your document if you want a physical copy.  

  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 and accepted to Trine University for a Master’s Program
  2. Be in the US on an active F1 Visa
  3. Be registered for Classes (Incoming students do not need to register before applying for CPT)
    1. Minimum of 6 credit hours each semester
    2. If it is your last semester and you only have 1 class left, you may still work on CPT
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
    1. 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.
  5. Participate and pass the CPT course 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 may start CPT as early as the program start date each semester.  If you are an incoming student, you must wait until your program start date based on which term you will begin studying at Trine University. 

Your end date can be up to 1 year from your CPT start date.  Students may work during academic breaks as long as they have authorization on their I20.  

Longest possible CPT example: Start date 04/20/2021 – End Date 04/19/2022  

Your CPT must start prior to the last month of classes.  This means your CPT application must be approved and processed prior to the last month of classes each semester.  The CPT course is a full semester course.  As such, there is no last day to apply for Term I sessions.  Students may apply anytime between the earliest start date and last day to start a new CPT as listed below. 

Students planning on applying for OPT after graduation cannot work over 1 year on Full-Time CPT at the Master’s level.  This includes any CPT worked at other Universities for a different Master’s degree.  CPT worked at the Bachelor or Associate level will not affect your eligibility for OPT.  

Part-Time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility. 

The below dates only affect the CPT applications from students who do not currently have CPT authorization on their Trine I20.  If you have a current authorized CPT, these dates will not affect you.

Spring Semester 2024 CPT Dates:
Earliest Start Date: December 12, 2023
Last day to start a new CPT: April 8, 2024

Spring Term II Incoming Students 2024
Earliest CPT start date: February 12, 2024

Summer Semester 2024 CPT Dates:
Earliest Start Date: May 13, 2024
Last day to start a new CPT: July 8, 2024

The Summer CPT Course will run from May 13, 2024 to August 3, 2024

Fall Semester 2024 CPT Dates:
Earliest Start Date: July 22, 2024
Last day to start a new CPT: November 18, 2024

Fall Term I Incoming Students, 2024
Earliest Start Date: July 22, 2024

Fall Term II Incoming Students, 2024
Earliest Start Date: September 23, 2024

Spring Semester 2024/2025 CPT Dates:
Earliest Start Date: December 9, 2024
Last day to start a new CPT:  April 7, 2025

Spring Term I Incoming Students, 2024/2025
Earliest Start Date: December 9, 2024

Spring Term II Incoming Students, 2025
Earliest Start Date: February 10, 2025

Summer Semester 2025 CPT Dates:
Earliest Start Date: May 12, 2025
Last day to start a new CPT: July 7, 2025

The Summer CPT Course will run from May 12, 2025 to August 2, 2025


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