International Students & CPT

Curricular Practical Training

International students have the option of completing Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which is a type of work authorization meant to give students the opportunity to work off-campus if the work is directly related to the students’ academic development in their degree program and it must be a credit-bearing course.

Minimum Eligibility:

  • In order to be eligible for CPT, you must be an active F-1 status for at least one academic year (one Fall and one Spring term or vice versa).

Part-Time vs. Full-Time:

  • CPT may be authorized as part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) during the Fall and Spring terms.
  • CPT may be authorized as full-time (no maximum hours per week):
    • during the Summer term
    • during the Fall/Spring if the degree program has a mandatory requirement for students to complete more than 20 hours of work per week (for example, student teaching)
    • or after completion of regular coursework while enrolled in graduate thesis or final project.
  • CPT authorization will affect your Optional Practical Training (OPT) if you have worked full-time for one full year.

Academic Requirements:

  • CPT may only be approved if you are getting academic credit for your off-campus work. As reflected in its name, CPT is meant for students to gain practical training or experience in their field of study as related to their academic curriculum.
  • CPT will be authorized for the duration of the term during which you are registered for the related course.
  • Some UNC Asheville courses that may count for CPT are internship courses, practicums, field studies, or independent studies. Each of these courses must be approved by the department chair of your academic major or program. If the academic department chair is not willing to approve registration for a course, then CPT cannot be approved.
  • You must have a specific job/internship offer in order to be approved for CPT.
  • It does not matter whether the job/internship is a paid or unpaid position.

How to Apply for CPT Authorization:

Submit the following documents to the Study Abroad Office:

  • CPT Application: This must be signed by you and by the department chair of your academic major or program.
  • Copy of Course Syllabi
  • Job Offer Letter: This must indicate the number of hours you will work, what your job duties will be, and the dates of employment.

Your CPT approval will appear on the third page of your Form I-20. The Study Abroad Office will contact you via email or phone to let you know when your new I-20 is ready for you to pick up.

Who should you contact if you need more information or have additional questions?

  • You’ll want to connect with Sara King, Coordinator of Global Studies and International Student Advisor, via an appointment, email, or phone call. Set up an in-person or virtual appointment or contact Sara King at or 828-232-5037. The Study Abroad office is located in the Academic Success Center in the basement of Ramsey Library and is open 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday.