UCLA Extension

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT involves employment-based internships directly related to your certificate program.

Organized as a class, the internship allows you to gain work experience in your field while you earn academic credit and advance toward program completion.

Before you apply:
  • Complete nine months of full-time study as an F1 visa student in your certificate program (full-time ESL programs do not count).
  • Have continuous full-time enrollment with progress toward completion.
  • Be in a certificate program that offers internships.
  • If you are in a paid internship, you will be able to apply for a Social Security card
How to apply:
  • Obtain an employment offer.
  • Contact your program department to request permission to enroll in the class section.
  • Enroll.
  • Make an appointment with your International Student Office (ISO) counselor to obtain authorization to work. Your counselor will grant permission if you meet eligibility requirements and will report the authorization, which will be noted on your I-20 form.

Additional CPT Information

  • Course listing—Make sure the catalog/web contains a listing for a course called “internship” or check with the program department. Not all programs offer academic credit for internships.
  • Referrals—Request referrals from your program department to potential employers and contact the employers directly about CPT internships.
  • Permission—If you find a paid internship, you will need the consent of your International Student Office (ISO) counselor for CPT.
  • Full-time and Part-time internships–You can do either part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (between 21-40 hours per week) CPT/internships.  Please note that if you do a paid internship/CPT for 12 months within the same academic level you are not eligible for OPT.
  • Final quarter—If you want to do a CPT/internship during your final quarter and want to apply for OPT at the same time, register for CPT before you apply for OPT. Once you register for OPT, you cannot register for CPT.
  • Short programs—If your program is shorter than 9 months and you want to participate in CPT, you must delay certificate completion by taking additional electives.