CPT and OPT Process
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing a program of study at SJSU and want to gain practical training in their major field of study. CPT may be authorized for paid or unpaid employment.
At CoE, the application process includes meeting any additional departmental requirements for eligibility, being aware of CPT departmental policy, and obtaining approval by your major or program department.
Note: The application process has changed as of July 2021.
Spring 2022 overview of the CPT application process at CoE:
- March 2022 presentation by ESSC [pdf]
- April 2022 presentation by ESSC and ISSS [pdf]
- May 19, 2022 LIVE workshop via Zoom presented by ESSC
After reviewing your department's website for further details, please reach out to the undergraduate or graduate departmental contacts for CPT if you have any questions.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Post-Completion OPT is a temporary employment authorization issued by USCIS that may be used (1) after the completion of a degree program, or (2) after completion of all course requirements other than a thesis, project or comprehensive final exam. The work students pursue while on Post-Completion OPT must be directly related to their major field of study.
Post-Completion OPT is generally issued for a duration of 12 months, but may be for less time if the student has previously applied and been granted Pre-Completion OPT.
Pre-Completion OPT is another type of work authorization that occurs prior to students' degree completion and before the program end date stated on the I-20. Learn more about the eligibility and process for pre-OPT on the ISSS website.
The academic advisor will complete part of your OPT application form before you submit that to ISSS. Each department may have a different process for submission and required documents to attach. Please check their website and, if you still have questions, reach out to the departmental contact for OPT.
If you are unsure which OPT option to pursue, make an appointment with an ISSS advisor to discuss your options given your case.