Career Readiness CPT Option

CPT Option Under the Campus-Wide Career Readiness Initiative for is Undergraduate International Students Only.

Starting Summer 2019, the Office of International Students and Scholars will be endorsing CPT (Curricular Practical Training) authorizations to fulfill listed undergraduate program graduation requirements, based on 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i), Career Readiness Initiative.

The above programs, as described by University Vice-President and Provost Gail F. Baker, are intended to “provide a customized educational experience throughout the career exploration process” and allow undergraduate students to gain valuable experience in the workplace while meeting their degree requirements.  These career exploration programs have additional benefits for international undergraduate students on an F1 visa.  Previously, for these students, participation in an internship was only possible through simultaneous enrollment in an internship course.  Some Majors do not have internship courses and others may limit internship credit to just one academic course.  With these new career exploration processes, undergraduate international students will be able to obtain an additional CPT (Curricular Practical Training) authorization to fulfill the graduation requirement.


You are eligible for the Career Readiness CPT Option if you meet the following conditions:

  1. You are a current USD undergraduate student at either the School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, or School of Engineering
  2. You have declared your major (major must appear on your Degree Works record)
  3. You have exhausted Internship Class options on your program’s respective curriculum, OR
  4. You do not yet have the required number of units to be eligible for your major’s Internship Class option (if available)


Please take note of the following restrictions when utilizing a Career Readiness Program to obtain CPT authorization:

  1. As with regular CPT, the duration of CPT authorization for a Career Readiness Program must fall within the dates of respective academic terms. In cases where a proposed internship begins much later than the official start of the semester, the authorization end date provided for the CPT will follow the official end date (last day of finals) for that semester. Summer authorization dates will observe the last day of finals for the last summer term.
  2. Also following restrictions of the regular CPT, full-time CPT will only be authorized for summer and intersession terms. Only part-time CPT (20 hours or less/week) is authorized during the fall and spring academic terms.
  3. You may only exercise the option to use the Career Readiness program graduation requirement to obtain CPT authorization once. This does not mean that an undergraduate international student may only do a single internship. Students are encouraged to first utilize an Internship Class offered within their curriculum before even considering obtaining CPT authorization through the Passport, Compass, or Connect programs (see Eligibility above).
  4. CPT will only be authorized with a formal offer of internship/practicum or employment.
  5. CPT will only be authorized if the internship is approved and cleared by the Career Development Center prior to the beginning of the internship.

What are the steps to receiving CPT authorization through a Career Readiness Program?

Step 1.

Schedule an appointment with your OISS advisor to determine whether your proposed internship is eligible for CPT based on one of the Career Readiness Programs. (Refer to the eligibility conditions listed at the beginning of this document).

Step 2.

Once OISS determines that your proposed internship passes the eligibility criteria, you will be issued a CPT Advising Clearance Form.  You will need to present this to your career counselor at the Career Development Center, who will then determine whether your internship is approvable for Career Readiness Program points. You can schedule a “CPT for CRP” appointment type with a career counselor through the Handshake website.

Requirements for the appointment:

  1. Signed CPT Advising Clearance Form by OISS
  2. Internship Offer letter/email that states start and end date and describes internship responsibilities
  3. Filled out the Experiential Learning Registration Form via your mysandiego portal

If you don’t have these requirements and need to speak to a career counselor about your situation, you can schedule a “Job/Internship Search” career counseling appointment. Please note CDev will not sign your CPT Clearance form until you have all 3 requirements.

Step 3.

Once your career counselor at the Career Development Center indicates that your internship is a good candidate for a Career Readiness Program, you may now go to the iTorero portal to fill out the “CPT - Undergraduate Career Readiness Programs” e-form under the "F-1 Practical Training" menu. Please take note that you must have your internship offer letter ready for upload when you fill out the eform.

Step 4.

Once you submit your e-form on iTorero, the Career Development Center will receive a verification form requesting him/her to send OISS an electronic approval on your behalf.  Once we receive the approval by the Career Development Center, we will proceed to process the CPT authorization and contact you to pick up your new I-20.


  • Remember that OISS will only issue CPT authorizations for international students to be able to do off-campus internships; we are not responsible for endorsing or awarding points that meet your Career Readiness graduation requirement.
  • CPT authorization can be for paid or unpaid professional internship opportunities
  • CPT authorization is not required for internships done outside the U.S. For questions on Career Readiness Program-approvable internships taken outside the U.S., please consult with your Career Development Center counselor.