Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

US students

things you should know about cPT Program

Curricular Practical Training /(CPT) is for foriegn students with F1 visa studying in the US. CPT is a part of the curriculum and is mandatory for the University programs.

step 1


To undertake CPT a student should have enrolled for a one-year full-time program. Some universities require their students to undergo CPT immediately after starting the program. Other universities require their students to complete 2 terms before starting CPT.

Students have to have F1 visa. They also need to have U-M approved health insurance.

step 2

Reason to undertake CPT

Students have to undertake CPT because of two reasons:

CPT is a part of the curriculum of the academic program.
The University wants them to undertake internship or employment immediately.

Some students can begin their internship or work as soon as they arrive if they satisfy the above requirements.


Justification for CPT

To bridge the gap between academics and industry as well as to distinguish the uniqueness of the student CPT becomes essential. Students and employers agree on the above fact. Studies also conclude that internship or work based experiences help in skill development and employability. One factor that enables a student to get a good position after the completion of the program is directly related to the quality of experience gained during internship and its close link with classroom studies. There is a general feeling among employees, graduates and students that emphasizes more hands on experience  opportunities that enable students to apply classroom learning to real world scenarios.

Research has identified some high impact practices that affect the student experience which in turn is seen in student learning and performance at graduate level. Among the impactful practices – work based experience or internships score really high.

step 4

more reasons to pursue CPT

Khu’s study on High-Impact Educational Practices found that for such a practice to be helpful it should include factors like relationship building, reflection and feedback. The disadvantage is that research related to high impact practices focus only on undergraduate studies.

Many programs have internship or work based programs embedded in their curriculum in a way that there is reflection and connection with classroom learning. Another requirement is that students have to chose an applied practicum course every semester. This course requires the student to take an internship or job or gain professional experience where the student has to apply their learning to real life situations.

Another value add is that the students gain 2 to 4 years experience while studying and also applying the concepts. Students gain soft skills that are much needed for today’s evolving workplace. Woodward’s research found that students developed communication and other soft skills during their internships.

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