Undergraduate curricular and optional practical training (CPT & OPT)

This page contains information for CS&E undergraduate students (Computer Science BS, Computer Science BA, and Data Science BS) pursuing Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Graduate students should review this CPT page instead.


International students admitted to our undergraduate computer science programs in CLA and CSE and the data science program in CSE interested in working off-campus must complete specific paperwork with a CS&E Advisor and the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to work legally.

Departmental rules

The use of CPT is subject to the following departmental rules:

  • The student is currently admitted to one of our department's undergraduate programs.
  • The experience must advance the student's training in the field in which the student is pursuing a degree.
  • CPT is not to delay academic progress.


The student must be in good academic standing to be eligible for CPT. Other government or university-mandated eligibility must be followed, and understanding/adherence to rule sets outside of the department is the student's responsibility. 

CPT approval

Students should take the following steps to get set up for CPT (for more details on CPT, go to this ISSS website):

  1. Receive a job offer
  2. Students should complete the CPT online workshop on MyISSS.
  3. Students should contact a CS&E Departmental Advisor. Students must provide the Course Instructor Verification Form and their offer letter for employment to the Departmental Advisor.
    1. The CS&E Advisor will complete the Course Instructor Verification Form for the CPT application.
    2. The CSE&E Advisor will email the student a permission number to add CSCI 5996 to a future semester.
  4. Students should register for CSCI 5996 online using the permission number emailed to them (must be registered before submitting paperwork to ISSS).
  5. Students complete all three sections of the CPT Request in MyISSS.
    1. Upload CPT supporting documents
    2. Enter CPT employment details
    3. Submit a CPT request to the CS&E Departmental Advisor they contacted for the previous paperwork to complete step 3 above.

CSCI 5996 (CPT) and CSCI 5997 (CPT Extension)

CSCI 5996 is a one-credit course taken pass/fail, which will only count for credits towards the 120 credit minimum needed to graduate. CSCI 5996 will not count for major requirements in the BS and BA programs. CSCI 5997 will be used for any CPT extension requests since CSCI 5996 cannot be added to the same semester twice. Students completing summer employment will register for CSCI 5996 in the following fall semester, so a summer tuition payment for the experience is not generated. 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

CPT is a separate program from Optional Practical Training (OPT) which can be used after graduation and which does not involve academic credit.