Viterbi Graduate Student Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is a type of work authorization for eligible F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus internships before graduation. However, it should not prevent the student from making reasonable progress towards the degree. The Office of International Services (OIS) provides additional information on their website that all graduate students should also be aware of.
International students should review the following CPT information prior to applying for CPT.
Time at USC
Maintained full-time F-1 student status for at least one academic year (fall and spring).
If you attended undergraduate or Master's programs at a U.S. institution, you may be eligible for CPT earlier.
Please see a VASE advisor in OHE-106 and OIS CPT Website for more information.
Minimum GPA requirement to apply for a CPT:
Fall/Spring CPT: 3.0 +
Summer CPT: 2.75+
NOTE: If a student meets all CPT criteria and has a GPA of 0.00, VASE will process if the student is meeting satisfactory academic progress and can meet with a VASE advisor if they have any questions.
Progressive Degree Program (PDP)
Students are waived out of the Online Training requirement.
PhD Student Considerations
PhD students who have applied or are planning to apply for a program extension will not be approved unless the CPT directly supports research or writing the dissertation. In this case, you MUST upload an explanation from your advisor along with your offer letter.
Fulfilled Degree Requirements
CPT Application Process
Hours and Location
If it's your final semester, you can work full-time if your course enrollment is no more than 4 credits (not including CPT credit). 10-20 hours per week is considered part-time and 21-40 per week is considered full-time.
If it's NOT your final semester, you can only work part-time with full-time course enrollment**Students cannot take academic difficulty RCL with CPT simultaneously.
- Remote CPT is currently allowed due to COVID-19.
- Ph.D. students must have passed the Qualifying Examination and be enrolled in Dissertation units in order to work outside the Los Angeles area during the Fall and Spring Semesters, or to be eligible for full-time CPT.
- Ph.D. students cannot hold a 50% assistantship during the Fall or Spring semesters and be approved for CPT.
*CPT authorization is intended to facilitate off-campus opportunities that resemble classroom instruction. A key characteristic of such an experience is a supervisory relationship, consisting of regular assignment and evaluation of deliverables. Practical Training also implies meaningful immersion in a professional environment. Students who request CPT for remote positions in Summer 2022 should keep detailed documentation establishing:
- The existence of a supervisory relationship throughout their period of authorization, and
- How they achieved professional immersion despite working remotely.
Published on February 1st, 2018
Last updated on July 21st, 2022