Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Graduate and Professional Students Only

At the University of Houston, three types of CPT have been approved for F-1 international students.  This document will define each type of CPT and will provide procedures and guidelines for engaging in each type of experience.

  1. CPT as Practicum/Internship
  2. CPT as Coop
  3. CPT as Dissertation or Thesis Research

 

CPT as Practicum/Internship:

  • This type of CPT is a practicum/internship required for all students enrolled in a particular program (e.g., HRM, clinical psychology, educational psychology) and requires that all students enroll in a practicum/internship course.
  • Students taking a practicum/internship CPT may hold graduate assistantship positions if they are recommended by their departments and if they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Practicum/Internship CPT may be taken during any academic semester, as determined by the academic department.

Procedures:

  • Visit the ISSSO office to have your eligibility for CPT determined, to receive instructions regarding immigration regulations, and to pick up the CPT & RCL Request Form.
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by your academic advisor.
  • Register for the practicum/internship course
  • Return the CPT & RCL Request Form to ISSSO for authorization.

CPT as Coop:

CPT/Coop is only allowed for students who can demonstrate that the experience is “an integral part of an established curriculum.”  Students may take CPT/Coop on either a part-time or a full-time basis, but specific restrictions apply.  Consequently, the procedures for part-time and full-time CPT will be described separately.

Part-time CPT/Coop (20 hours or less):

Students may engage in part-time CPT during any semester, as long as the experience has been certified as relevant to the degree objective (see procedures listed below).

  • During the long semesters (fall and spring), students must be enrolled in a full course of study (a minimum of 9 hours).
  • The only exception to this rule is for students who are in their last semester; these students may enroll in as few as three (3) hours.
  • During the summer semesters, students do not have to enroll in any courses except the CPT/Coop course.  There are only two exception to this rule:
    • If summer is the student’s first semester, the student must enroll in at least six (6) hours.  However, we do not recommend that any student engage in CPT/Coop during his/her first semester.
    • During the student’s final semester, the student must enroll in at least three (3) hours

Please NOTE: Because the CPT/Coop serves as a part-time position, students enrolled full-time who engage in part-time CPT may not work for the university in a .5 FTE position and therefore cannot receive the GATF. In other words, students must choose between working in a Coop position and working for the university.  This is true no matter when the Coop occurs (fall, spring, or summer).

CPT/Coop course requirements:

  • Students will register for the COOP course offered through the College of Engineering.
  • Students will be evaluated through a formal process including a supervisor’s evaluation as well as a faculty member’s evaluation from the student’s home department.
  • Course grades will be letter grades.

Procedures:

  • Students who need to enroll in a CPT/coop course must complete the following steps:
  • Visit the ISSSO office to have your eligibility for CPT determined, to receive instructions regarding immigration regulations, and to pick up the CPT & RCL Request Form.
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by your academic department.
  • Approved signatures are required from the academic advisor, the department chair, and the college dean
  • A copy of the letter offering the CPT position to the student must be attached to the form
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
  • Register for the CPT/Coop course
  • Return the CPT & RCL Request Form to ISSSO for authorization

Full-time CPT/Coop (more than 20 hours):

Students may only engage in full-time CPT when they are not full-time students.  This means that full-time CPT may only occur:

  • During the summer semester when the student is either not enrolled or only enrolled in a reduced course load (4 hours or less), or
  • During a student’s final semester, but only if the student is approved for a reduced course load.

Please Note:  Because students can only engage in full-time CPT/Coop with a reduced course load, students will NOT be eligible for employment at the University, nor will they be eligible for the GATF.

As with the part-time CPT/Coop, the experience must be certified as relevant to the degree objective (see procedures listed below).

CPT/Coop course requirements:

  • Students will register for the COOP course offered through the College of Engineering.
  • Students will be evaluated through a formal process including a supervisor’s evaluation as well as a faculty member’s evaluation from the student’s home department.
  • Course grades will be letter grades.

Procedures:

  • Students who need to enroll in a CPT/coop course must complete the following steps:
  • Visit the ISSSO office to have your eligibility for CPT determined, to receive instructions regarding immigration regulations, and to pick up the CPT & RCL Request Form.
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by your academic department.
  • Approved signatures are required from the academic advisor, the department chair, and the college dean
  • A copy of the letter offering the CPT position to the student must be attached to the form
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
  • Register for the CPT/Coop course
  • Return the CPT & RCL Request Form to ISSSO for authorization

CPT as Dissertation or Thesis Research:

  • Sometimes dissertation and/or thesis research can involve gathering data at a particular corporation’s research and development facilities.  When the student must be an employee of the corporation to gain access to these facilities and their data, the student may engage in CPT. Thus, this type of CPT is for students who must be employed at sites not affiliated with the university in order to collect data for a dissertation or thesis project.
  • Students enrolled in this type of CPT usually engage in the dissertation or thesis/data collection on a part-time basis.
  • Students taking a dissertation or thesis/data collection CPT may hold graduate assistantship positions if they are recommended by their departments and if they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Dissertation or thesis/data collection CPT may be taken during any academic semester, as determined by the academic department.

Procedures:

  • Students who need to enroll in a CPT/dissertation/thesis must complete the following steps:
  • Visit the ISSSO office to have your eligibility for CPT determined, to receive instructions regarding immigration regulations, and to pick up the CPT & RCL Request Form.
  • Have your CPT & RCL Request Form approved by your academic department.
  • Approved signatures are required from the academic advisor, the department chair, and the college dean
  • A contract between the student and dissertation/thesis chair must be attached to the CPT & RCL Request Form (use the General Petition as you do now for non-structured courses)
  • Register for dissertation or thesis hours
  • Return the CPT & RCL Request Form to ISSSO for authorization.

Catalog Publish Date: July 27, 2012
This Page Last Updated: October 9, 2012
Effective Date of Archive: January 14, 2013