University of Houston-Victoria

International Programs

CPT Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including an "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship por practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." Source [8CFR 214.2 (f) (10)(i)]

CPT-Eligible Programs at UHV

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems - CPT Co-op
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - BBA Internship Course for Elective Credit
    • CPT may not be an option for Accounting Majors; seek School of Business Administration advisement.
  • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - CPT Co-op
  • Master of Business Administration - MBA Internship Course for Elective Credit

Internship Contacts

  • School of Arts and Sciences - Dr. Qi Zhu, Internship Director, for CS * CIS
  • School of Arts and Sciences - Dr. H. Eshan, Intership Director for Biology and BioMedical 
  • School of Business Administration - Dr. Kaveh Moghaddan , Internship Director

Note: CPT is processed and authorized per semester. Contact your academic department's internship coordinator/advisor or internship director for specific guidelines. Follow those guidelines for CPT applications. Please note that it is up to your department's discretion to recommend CPT.

Required CPT vs Optional CPT

Required CPT is when your academic program mandates that all students within that program complete practical work experience in order to graduate. Required training must be clearly identified and described in the course catalog, online catalog, or similar publication put forth by the university.

Optional CPT is when the practical work experience must count for credit and be directly related to your field of study. This could be an internship, cooperative education program, practicum, or similar course through your academic department.

Part-time vs Full-Time CPT
Part-Time CPT: Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time. You must be simultaneously enrolled in classes full-time in order to maintain lawful F-1 status. Students are not permitted to work over 20 hours while school is in session during the Fall and Spring semesters unless it is their final semester.

Full-time CPT: Employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time. Students are only eligible for full-time CPT during the Summer term or during their final semester. Please be aware that 12 months of more of full-time CPT will invalidate your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

CPT Eligibility Criteria 
To be eligible for CPT, students must

  • Have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year (i.e. 12 months of attendance at UHV). An exception to this academic rule is provided for students whose programs require immediate participation in CPT. The program requirement must be for all students in the program and should be listed on the program's website curriculum description and online catalog.
  • Be under good academic standing
  • Be in lawful F-1 status
  • Have declared a major (pre-major students who are not admitted into a major are not eligible for CPT. CPT cannot be authorized based on a minor, certificate, or emphasis).
  • Complete the course registration credit requirements listed below
  • Have UHV-approved health insurance
  • Attend the mandatory CPT session by the International Programs Office prior to applying for CPT
  • Have a job or internship offer
  • Have approval from your academic program's internship coordinator/director
  • Register for academic internship credit prior to obtaining CPT authorization.
  • Earn the internship credits in the same semester for which CPT is authorized.
  • Earn at least one CPT-related credit for each semester of authorization granted.
  • Not use thesis or dissertation credit to fulfill the CPT credit requirement.
  • Must register for at least one additional course besides your CPT credit if applying for CPT authorization during your final semester. CPT credit cannot be the only credit in your final semester schedule unless it is fulfilling a mandatory degree requirement.

How to Apply for CPT
If you have attended one of the mandatory CPT sessions held in Fall, Spring, or Summer, email Ms. Yvonne Garcia for the application steps. If you have not yet attended one of these sessions, you will not be able to apply for CPT. Once you have applied, the International Programs Office needs 5-7 business days to review and authorize CPT.

Volunteer Opportunities 
International students may complete unpaid internship or volunteer opportunities without needing to process any paperwork provided that they are not replacing a paid U.S. worker and are not receiving any compensation in any form for their work. Any sort of payment is considered compensation, including housing, books, stipends, gift cards, etc.

Volunteering refers to donating time with an organization whose primary purpose is charitable or humanitarian in nature without receiving payment or any other type of compensation. The position must be advertised as volunteer, and no one should have been previously paid for this position. Please refer to Department of Labor guidelines.