Practical Training is a way for international students on F-1 visas to work off-campus during or immediately following completion of their degree programs. Two types of Practical Training are available: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Curricular Practical Training is a means for international students on F-1 visas to complete a paid internship off campus. Learn more about CPT guidelines and print CPT forms at the International Student and Scholar Services website.
In order for the IT graduate advisor to sign off on a CPT, students must show that the work they will be doing on an internship is directly related to their coursework. In addition, students must register for one credit hour of IT 498, Professional Practice in Information Technology, for the semester during which they are completing an internship and include this course on their plan of study. IT 498 credits do not count toward the Information Systems degree.
Contact the IT graduate advisor if you:
Optional Practical Training is a means for international students on F-1 visas to work for one year in the United States after completion of a degree program. Read more about OPT guidelines and print forms at the International Student and Scholar Services website.
Keep in mind you may not be on OPT until you are finished with your coursework, excluding a project or thesis. However, you are strongly advised to complete your project or thesis (if applicable) before going on OPT. Many students who have left on OPT have never returned or have returned too late to finish the degree without completing additional coursework.