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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment authorization directly related to an F-1 student's academic program. If you are an F-1 student, CPT gives you the opportunity to gain practical experience internship/off-campus training for a specific period of time through cooperative agreements with ENMU. If you believe you are eligible for CPT, request a Recommendation for CPT form from International Advisor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Am I eligible for CPT?

You may be eligible for CPT if all of the following items apply to you:

  • CPT can only be used during your program of study.
  • Be in F-1 status at the time of application and have been in lawful F-1 status for one full academic year (two semesters not including summer) preceding your CPT application. Exception: If you are a graduate student and your degree program requires immediate participation in an internship, you may apply at any time.
  • Be enrolled in full course of study. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for 12 credit hours and graduate students must be enrolled for 9 credit hours.
  • You must have a job offer from an employer and the job must be directly related to your major field of study.

Please note: CPT is not granted for independent study and special study courses. If you have completed your program requirements and are merely delaying graduation to make use of CPT or if you are working on your thesis, you are are not eligible for CPT. In this case, you should apply for OPT or Thesis OPT.

View OPT checklist >

CPT Categories

  • Part-Time Training – Employment for 20 hours or less per week
  • Full-Time Training – Employment for more than 20 hours per week

CPT Application Requirements

To apply for CPT, you must provide the following:

  • An employment letter from the employer. The letter should be on a letterhead and should clearly state:
    • Job title (e.g. intern, trainee)
    • Job description
    • Job Location (i.e. city, state)
    • Job's exact starting and ending dates
    • Number of hours per week
    • Any salary agreement(s)
    If any detail is missing, CIE will not be able to grant CPT.)
  • The Advisor's Curricular Practical Training Recommendation Form, completed and signed by your Academic Advisor/Major Professor/Department Chair/CO-OP Office Copies of any previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • The CPT Authorization Request Form signed and completed.
  • Updated degree plan signed by your advisor that indicates the course of which you will obtain CPT credit.
  • A copy of your most recent I-20, I-94 (front and back), visa and information page of your passport. Please include a copy of the renewal page if appropriate.
  • Proof of full-time registration for the current semester.

When your CPT I-20 is ready, you will need to pick it from the Office of International Advising. You will need to show this to your employer as proof of your work authorization.

Additional Information

Employment Eligibility Verification

When you begin work, you and your employer must complete a form entitled "Employment Eligibility Verification" (USCIS Form I-9), which the employer retains. The I -9 must be updated each time you receive a renewal of your work permission.

Social Security and Other Taxes

In general, if you are an F-1 student who has been in the U.S. less than five years, you are exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes. Your earnings, however, are subject to applicable federal, state and local taxes. You must file a tax return on or before April 15 each year, which will determine if any of the withheld taxes can be refunded to you.


For More Information Contact

International Programs
ENMU Station 2
1500 S Ave K
Portales, NM 88130
800.FOR.ENMU (800.367.3668)
Phone: 575.562.4697
Fax: [missing fax number]