International Students

International students in F-1 status are eligible to participate in the Co-op Program and work legally in the United States with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization. International students must complete one full academic year of full-time coursework and must be pursuing an academic program to be eligible for CPT.

CPT Authorization

Once you have accepted the job offer, start the CPT process right away. DO NOT start the CPT/ISSS process until you have accepted the job offer. For students completing consecutive co-op semesters, only one CPT application will need to be submitted. This process needs to be completed before beginning work at your co-op site.

Do not delay starting on the CPT application. Students cannot begin employment until the CPT authorization is processed. The CPT authorization takes 7 business days to administer by the ISSS office and another 5 business days by the Co-op office (longer if submitted during the semester break). International students should communicate this time constraint with their employer so the student’s start date does not have to be pushed back to allow time for CPT authorization.

Students must be registered for a co-op course in order for CPT to be approved by ISSS. Once your application has been fully approved in Handshake, the CSE Career Center will email you a permission number to register for the co-op course. The Career Center is available to answer any questions you have; please email them at co-op@umn.edu.

Process/Paperwork required by ISSS:

Please visit the ISSS CPT page and proceed via the My ISSS Portal to begin the CPT process. 

  1. Student Request and Academic Adviser Verification form: for the purposes of the co-op CPT, Prof. Kia Bazargan (kia@umn.edu) will serve as the academic advisor for signing the paperwork.
  2. Financial Certification statement (if I-20 financial information will change by greater than 25 percent)
  3. A completed CPT form, signed by Prof. Kia Bazargan, the director of Co-op Program. Please list Prof. Kia Bazargan as your academic adviser and he will then receive an email requesting he access the portal and approve the student's CPT request. Allow 5 business days for this to be processed (this may be longer if submitted between semesters).
  4. Approval Letter from the Co-op Office: Submit the Co-op Approval Letter Request form as soon as possible after accepting the Co-op job offer. It can take up to a week for the approval letter to be created. This letter will be emailed to you as a PDF, which you will then be required to upload with your CPT E-form via the CPT E-form application with ISSS. 

Important Information about Course Registration:

Students will typically be registered for CSE 4896 for their first working semester and this is the course that your CPT will be based on. A course grade for CSE 4896 will not be given until after you have finished your entire co-op experience. The Co-op office will give you more information about this process once your application is approved.