Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT Program Overview

Curricular practical training is a means for students to attain work experiences related directly to the courses in which they are currently enrolled and which also count towards the completion of their matriculated degree.  Students that want to utilize CPT must concurrently enroll in the lecture and its accompanying CPT course, called a practicum.  These practicums are graded on an A/B/C/F basis and successful completion results in earned academic credit.  CPT usage must be approved by the student’s academic department.  The proposed employment must have a clear academic contribution to the student’s degree of study.

Participation in CPT is an option and UNVA reserves the right to end CPT at any time without notice.

Student Eligibility

UNVA offers CPT only to F-1 students enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs.  These students must meet the following eligibility factors prior to submitting a CPT application:

1.       GPA of 3.0 or higher and no incomplete (I) grades
2.       lawful F-1 status
3.       possession of a valid job offer; see application procedure for more details
4.       enrollment in a full-time course load, unless the student is enrolled in their final term has applied for graduation.

Practicum Availability

For master’s degree students, only concentration courses in their major are eligible for a practicum.  For doctoral students, only core courses in their major and PROJ700 (doctoral dissertation) are eligible for a practicum.  Doctoral students may register for the PROJ700 practicum up to four times, to aid them in their research efforts.  No other practicums may be repeated and only one practicum may be taken per term.

Because the practicum must be enrolled concurrently with the lecture, dropping the lecture requires the dropping of the practicum and cancellation of the linked CPT employment.  All UNVA add/drop/refund policies apply.  Practicums may be registered after the normal registration period has ended.  However, like all practicum and CPT, this approval is at the students’ academic department’s discretion.  Practicum courses may not substitute other course requirements.


CPT Employment

UNVA does not have a preference for certain employers or employment fields, so long as application criteria are met, the work performed is directly related to the students’ studies, and the CPT is approved by the student’s academic department.  Internships (whether paid or unpaid) and volunteer work may be eligible for CPT.  However, unpaid internships or volunteer efforts do not require CPT, and UNVA considers these extracurricular activities as for the students’ personal edification or gratification.  Overall, students are encouraged to seek employers that will support their academic objectives.

Part-time and Full-time CPT

Part-time employment may not exceed 20 hours per week.  Employment with more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time.  Students approved for part-time employment who are found to be exceeding their allowable work hours may have their CPT canceled, their statuses terminated for “unauthorized employment,” and/or be barred from obtaining other CPT in the future.

CPT can be approved for as long as the student pursuing their degree and has met eligibility requirements.  However, students who intend on applying for post‑completion OPT, should not exceed more than 12 months of full-time CPT.  Part‑time CPT is counted at half the rate of full-time CPT.

Other Restrictions

The employer’s address may not be farther than 250 miles from the UNVA Main Campus.  If the student will be employed primarily at an employer’s satellite location, that location must be provided on the CPT application.

CPT may not be used in an attempt to delay completion or extend the academic program.  Students attempting to do so may jeopardize their academic and/or visa status in the US.

UNVA may end CPT at any time and without notice.

Practicum Coursework

Practicums are graded on an A/B/C/F basis and successful completion results in earned academic credit.  Some examples of coursework required for successful completion are:

1.       Initial Proposal
2.       Weekly Journal Entries
3.       Final Report
4.       Completed Employer Evaluation

A practicum advisor will be assigned to the student each time CPT is approved.  The advisor’s role is to advise and supervise the student through the duration of the practicum.  Students are to schedule meetings with their practicum advisor about once a month to discuss their academic gains through practical experience and receive guidance regarding their final report. See practicum syllabus for full details regarding practicum coursework and grading structure.