Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Occupational Practical Training (OPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

The College of Hospitality requires international graduate students to follow the rules and regulations outlined by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). This includes I-20 extensions, requests for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Occupational Practical Training (OPT), employment during the academic year, registration, etc. If an international student violates any of the policies or regulations, he/she may be asked to leave the country.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is for international graduate students

  • who are on an F-1 visa,
  • have completed two full-time semesters (fall and spring) of graduate academic coursework, and
  • for whom temporary off-campus employment during the course of their university enrollment is directly related to their major field of study and an integral or important part of their program of study.

In addition to the requirements above, international master’s students in the dual HOA-MIS and HOA-MBA programs must have completed at least one semester of HOA coursework to be eligible for the HOA internship course and CPT experience through the College of Hospitality. If the internship is directly related to the MIS or MBA degree, students should seek approval for the CPT experience through the College of Business.

Part-time CPT is 20 hours a week or less, while full-time CPT is more that 20 hours per week. Full-time CPT during the fall or spring term is approved in exceptional cases. For more information on CPT rules and regulations, visit https://www.unlv.edu/oiss/employment/curricular-practical-training.

In order to pursue CPT, international students are required to complete the CPT application, and have it approved at each level – Hospitality Office of Graduate Programs (Rhonda McElroy) and OISS. International students cannot formally accept an internship without having their CPT approved at each level. In addition, international students are required to register for 1 credit hour of HOA 783, Internship. Per federal policy, failure to register for the course by the stated deadline may result in the student’s F-1 visa being terminated.

In addition, the following policies are enforced with CPT.

  • CPT cannot be backdated and cannot start until all approvals at each level are granted and course registration is completed.
  • Students can only work on CPT for the dates listed on their new I-20 and cannot start their employment without having the I-20 in hand. The employment must also end on the date specified on the CPT I-20.
  • Students cannot change employers without completing a new CPT application form.
  • CPT authorization can only be given for one semester at a time. Students who complete more than 12 months of full-time CPT will not be eligible for OPT.

HOA 783 Course Policies

Students must seek approval from Hospitality Office of Graduate Programs to register for HOA 783 for their CPT by providing Rhonda McElroy (rhonda.mcelroy@unlv.edu) with the OISS CPT form and a copy of your offer letter from the employer that outlines your job responsibilities, your start and end dates, and the name and contact information of your supervisor. Students must adhere to the course policies below. No exceptions will be given.

  • CPT must be directly related to their major field of study and an integral or important part of their program of study.
  • Fall/Spring full-time CPT must be at least 10-weeks at more than 20 hours per week.
  • Students who complete a part-time CPT during the fall and spring term need to be located within the Las Vegas area and be registered as a full-time student (on top of registration in HOA 783).
  • HOA 783 approval will only be given one semester at a time.
  • No full-time CPT will be approved for HOA 783 in the student’s last semester.
  • Internship dates must fall within the dates of the given semester as outlined below.
    • Fall term – August 16 through December 31
    • Spring term – January 1 through May 15
    • Summer term – May 16 (or the first day of summer term) through August 15
  • Students approved for part-time CPT during the fall or spring term must remain in Las Vegas and must use their local address on CPT request form.
  • Students must be approved and registered by 10th day of term for fall and spring term. Students must be approved and registered before the start of Summer II session. Class registration will occur only during Summer II session even through the internship may run the entire summer.
  • Students must check their Rebel email account on a regular basis for any course announcements. In addition, students must complete one required assignment by “Last Day of Instruction” for the semester. Failure to complete the assignment by the deadline will result in an unsatisfactory grade.

Step-by-Step CPT Checklist

Occupational Practical Training (OPT)

International students who are ready to graduate may apply for Occupational Practical Training, which allows them to work in the U.S. up to one year after graduation. To apply, visit https://www.unlv.edu/oiss/employment/optional-practical-training. Students must meet the following conditions to be eligible for OPT:

  • Completed their degree.
  • Completed at least two semesters at the UNLV campus on their current SEVIS record.
  • Current F-1 visa status.
  • Complied with all registration requirements for previous CPT(s).
  • Valid passport.

For more information, visit OPT Requirements and Application Process website (https://www.unlv.edu/oiss/employment/optional-practical-training).