Curricular practical training (CPT) is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education employment, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.  An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program, which is an integral part of the established curriculum. [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)].  CPT is a practical training option for international students studying in the United States on an “F-1” visa.  CPT is available to the eligible student only prior to the completion of the graduate degree program and the student must have a job offer at the time of application.

Harrisburg University has defined full-time status for a student enrolled using the CPT option as six (6) semester hours of academic credit per semester.  A student must be enrolled full-time during CPT.  A student enrolled on an F-1 visa using CPT eligibility may not register for more than one (1) online course each semester.  A student who holds an H-1B or H-4 visa is permitted to take more than one course online each semester.  Very few online courses offered in the graduate program are self-paced.  Readings, writing assignments, and testing are often conducted weekly throughout the semester.  All courses require 6 – 8 hours per week of study and applied project work.

CPT within the Graduate Program at Harrisburg University

The Master of Science degree programs permit a student to begin Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the first semester of study for those students who are deemed eligible to do so, as determined by the SEVIS Primary Designated School Official at the time of enrollment.  A student’s CPT internship experience or employment must relate to the student’s program of study and may be part-time (20 or less hours per week) or full-time (21 to 40 hours per week).

CPT is an integral part of the program of study.  Referred to as experiential learning, work experience permits the student to take lecture and textbook learning and apply that knowledge in a real-world setting to the workplace.

A first-time student at the Master degree level may participate in 12 months of (full-time) CPT during the program of study.  Upon completion, the student is then eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an initial period of 12 months and a 17-month extension of OPT for the STEM-approved programs offered by the University.  A student who has previously completed Optional Practical Training (OPT) at the Master degree level is permitted to complete up to 24 months of CPT during the program of study.

Application and Authorization Procedures:

 To apply for CPT, please submit the following documents to the Office of International Students:

  1. A completed Curricular Practical Training Verification Form signed by an employer; and,
  2. A copy of the training or employment offer letter.

Once approved, you will receive a revised SEVIS Form I-20 which you should present to your training site supervisor upon request.

Overview of Harrisburg University Graduate Studies

Graduate Education at HU focuses on individualized career advancement in areas of study within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.  The university’s approach is based on an experiential model that allows the student to gain and apply knowledge and skills at an advanced level and to focus on an area of need or interest particular to the student.  Faculty combine corporate and academic perspectives in the design, development, and delivery of graduate programs and courses.  Programs are designed for working professionals focused on career advancement who can apply what is learned back to their workplace. Therefore, each course has at least one applied, work-related assignment, and each degree has a practicum requirement of all students.

More information on the Master’s Programs is found by clicking here:

HU’s graduate programs are based on the following model:

  • All MS degrees are granted for 36 semester hours (12 courses) of graduate work.
  • Each MS program has 5 required courses that uniquely define the specific graduate program.
  • There are a variety of graduate level courses that the students in any MS program may take as electives. This pool of electives may consist of a wide range of courses from different graduate-level programs (illustrated below).
  • There is a 6-credit capstone/practicum requirement for all graduate degrees at the university. This practicum synthesizes the key concepts of the program and extends/applies these concepts to real life practical problems or research investigations. The capstone consists of two courses: a research methodology and writing course, and a Graduate Thesis or Applied Project. The courses leading up to this practicum experience combined with the practical work experience for students are required to complete the applied project. Students authorized by the university for CPT must take the applied project option within their specific degree program.

Questions about the SEVIS? 

Prospective and current students can get a lot of questions answered just by reading this helpful SEVIS tool:


Click here for Information about Dates, Hotels, Tuition.

Contact Curricular Practical Training

To receive additional information on Curricular Practical Training offered in ISEM, Analytics, Learning Technologies or Project Management, please email your request to You will receive a response within 24 hours.