Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

To participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), a student in the College must:

1. Confirm that he or she meets the CPT Eligibility Requirements.

2. Follow all International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) instructions.

3. Follow all College instructions.

4. Qualify to participate in an independent study which is credit bearing either in the students’ major or a related department whose study is related to the internship. Students and instructors must follow all department rules for independent study creation set by the department in which the instructor teaches.

5. Work with their College Major Undergraduate Chair to complete the Cooperative Agreement between the internship and the major.

To participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), a student in the College must complete the following steps:

1. Confirm eligibility: Review the ISSS website to confirm that they meet the CPT Eligibility Requirements.

2. Create an independent study: Identify a faculty member willing to help develop an independent study course related to his or her major. To have the independent study approved, the student and faculty member must follow departmental procedures for requesting an independent study course (this may include an application process). Once a permit is issued for the independent study course, the student must claim the permit in Penn InTouch which will complete the registration process for the course. (See CPT Instructions for Faculty/Staff Teaching Independent Studies section for more details on this process.)

3. Obtain an official employment letter: Obtain an official offer letter from the prospective employer. The letter must comply with the instructions on the ISSS website and must contain the following paragraph:
"We [the employer] offer this internship/practicum experience to you in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania, and it is intended in part to contribute to an independent study that you will conduct under the supervision of faculty in your major program of studies."

4. Complete the CPT Major Form: Download and complete the  CPT Major Form. Email or make an appointment to meet with the undergraduate chair of the relevant department. The undergraduate chair will review the official employment offer letter. If approved, the undergraduate chair will sign the completed CPT Major Form and upload it to Penn+Box.

5. Complete the CPT Electronic Request Form in iPenn: Follow instructions to fill out this form online. Submitting the form will send it directly to the College Office.

6. Email your College Contact to tell them you have submitted an E-form through iPenn and ask them to review it.

Please note: Students should not begin their CPT employment until they receive a CPT I-20 with work authorization from ISSS.

Faculty and staff who choose to oversee an independent study connected in content to an internship a student has already secured should follow their departmental procedures for creating an independent study course. The student must qualify to participate in a credit bearing independent study vetted by the department.

Once the independent study course has been approved, the student should add it to their schedule with help from departmental administrators as needed. The student should follow up with their College Contact and ISSS.

Students are required to get written support from their major department's undergraduate chair in order to get CPT approval. Undergraduate chairs should follow the procedure below:

1.    Review employment offer letter: In order to approve a cooperative agreement between the major and the offering company, undergraduate chairs must first review the student's offer letter (provided by the student) and verify that the major is related to the content of the internship.

2.    Sign and upload the CPT Major Form:

  • Receive an electronic copy of the CPT Major Form from student
  • Sign the completed form and label this document with the student's LAST NAME_FIRST_NAME_YEAR (i.e. Kim_Jason_2017)
  • Upload a completed and signed CPT Major Form to the Penn +Box folder designated for the major
  • Email a completed copy of the CPT Major Form to the student so they can provide a copy to the employer

Once the CPT Major Form is complete, the student will need to follow up with a College office advisor and ISSS. (See CPT Instructions for Students section for more details on this process.)

Please contact Jason Breyan in the College Office or phone 215.898.6341 if there are any questions about this process.