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.”


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.  

Full Time Student – 6 credits every semester (see information regarding Summer in the QA section)

3.0 GPA – If it is your first semester at Trine, you will not have a GPA.  You may still work on CPT, however, you must have a 3.0 GPA after you complete your first semester

Participate in and pass the CPT course: You will be added to a CPT course the Monday prior to your CPT start date.  If you are not registered for the CPT course by the time you start working, you must email CPT@trine.edu to let them know. 

If you are graduating before the date written on your I20, you must let us know so we can shorten your program dates and CPT authorization dates.  You cannot work on CPT after you graduate.

You can be authorized for CPT 1-year at a time.  For example, if you start CPT on April 20, 2020 your CPT end date would be on or before April 19, 2021. 

If you plan to use OPT after graduation you can only work 1 year on Full Time CPT.  Even 1day over will make you unable to work on OPT.  We recommend working only 11months full time to make sure you do not accidentally work too much.

Part Time CPT does not affect your OPT eligibility.

Students working part time or who do not plan to work on OPT, may complete a new CPT application 2-4 weeks before the end of their current authorization to extend their employment for another year.

Required Documents:

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- 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 is short term (Less than 1 year)

2. Job Description: (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 below:

  • Job description from job hunting website like Indeed or LinkedIn
  • Official email from your Manager or HR representative with their work signature
  • Document signed by your manager stating your company name, job title, and description of your job

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.  There are no exceptions.  If your employer refuses to sign this document you will not be able to work at that company.

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

You must complete all 5 forms in the CPT application in order to submit your application.  Only fill out each form one time. You will receive an email letting you know your application has been submitted if you filled out 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 CPT, you must complete a new application and allow for the 2weeks processing time. We cannot guarantee you will be able to continue working without a gap in employment if you do not apply a full 2weeks 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.

To obtain an SSN, must first have a job offer.  You can apply for your SSN up to 1 month before your CPT start date.  

Once you get a job offer, and it approved from our CPT Coordinator, you will need to take the following to your nearest social security office:

It can take up to 2 weeks to receive your CPT I20 and another 3-5 days to receive your SSN support letter.  

SSN applications often take 2-4 weeks to process, but can take longer depending on how busy your local SSN office is.  


Please keep these processing times in mind when you apply for CPT if you need an SSN.

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 courses during the summer semester to continue or start working on CPT.  You must take the summer CPT course and be registered for Fall classes.

You must complete a new application at least 2weeks before you:

  • Change your employer
  • Change your 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.)
  • If you are starting a new Trine Program after graduation
  • Extending 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 do not need to update us if your benefits or pay have changed.

If your company is changing its legal name, you must apply for a new CPT before the name change becomes effective.  SEVIS and USCIS will consider this as working for a different company. If you do not have work authorization under the company’s new name once the name is official., you will need to stop working immediately. 

You need to apply at least 2 weeks ahead of time with a new job offer or verification letter on the letterhead with the new name. If you cannot get a job offer letter with the company’s new name and letterhead beforehand, you will need to upload proof of the company’s name change to your CPT application.  Usually, your company will send out an official notification beforehand which can be used as proof. 

You will need to obtain a job offer or verification letter on the new company letterhead as soon as possible.  Should you request a CPT extension, you will not be able to use the old offer letter.

When you complete the CPT application, please say you are changing your employer.  Your last day of work will be the last day your company works under the name written on your I20.  Your new CPT start date will be the day the name change takes effect.  

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.

If you lose your job, decide to quit, or otherwise stop working before the CPT end date written on your I20, you must request to cancel your CPT. 

If you stop working on the day written on your I20, you do not need to do anything.  Your authorization will automatically end.

To request cancellation, please complete this form: https://forms.trine.edu/231284127993866

When filling out the cancellation date please write out the name of the month.

You must complete this form as soon as possible.  We cannot edit your CPT dates after the end date has passed.

If you will not be able to start working on the day written on your I20, please complete this form at least 5days before your start date to be refunded for the CPT course.  If we cannot cancel your CPT before the start date written on your I20, you will be charged for the CPT course.

If you want to change your CPT start date without canceling your CPT, please email CPT@trine.edu and allow 3-5days for a response.

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 giving you a 2week notice to let your company know you must stop working.

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 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 form or email CPT@trine.edu within 10 days.

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.  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.

You can apply for OPT up to 3months prior to graduation.  Before you fill out our OPT application, you must make sure your I20 has the correct Program End Date.  If your Program End date is not accurate you must contact your Assigned DSO and request they shorten your program.  If you do not know who your assigned DSO is, you can use your Trine Student ID number in the Find My Advisor section of our Resource Page: https://www.trine.edu/international/resources/index.aspx

If your CPT end date is after your graduation date you must fill out our CPT cancellation/Update form https://forms.trine.edu/231284127993866 and put your last day worked as your graduation date or earlier.  After your Program End Date and CPT End Date have been updated you may apply for OPT: https://suncas.trine.edu/istart/controllers/start/StartEngine.cfm