CPT Training Process

For International Students on F-1 Visa

International Students on an F-1 Visa who wish to pursue an internship must comply with all CPT-related policies of the ISSS , the Grainger College of Engineering, and the CS Department .

Primary Contacts: PhD and CS MS: Cassandra Phelps; MCS (Urbana and Chicago) and MS Bioinformatics: Joseph Zarnsy

Note: If the primary contacts are unavailable, Kara MacGregor can assist in their absence.

Eligibility: CPT is for graduate students who are on an F-1 visa, have completed one year of academic coursework, and wish to apply to complete an internship.

CPT Start and End Dates for Summer

  • Earliest Summer CPT start date is May 16th or the first day of summer term (whichever is earlier).
  • PhD students who have successfully completed their Qualifying Examination:
    • On RA appointment for Fall term -  Summer CPT internships must end by first day of classes for Fall term. If the end date for summer CPT falls after August 15th, students must consult with their supervising faculty to delay the start date of your Research Assistantship for Fall term.
    • On TA appointment for Fall term - Summer CPT internships must end by August 15th. Start and end dates for Fall TA appointments will not be adjusted by the department.
  • All other graduate students must have a  CPT end date of August 15th or earlier.

Application Process for Summer CPT

In order to apply for CPT, students must complete the steps below:

  • Secure an offer letter from the internship company.
  • Students on CPT will enroll in either CS 599 (post-quals PhD students only) or ENG 510 (pre-quals PhD, MS, and MCS students).

    • Ph.D. students with a thesis advisor who have passed the qualifying exam and have a thesis title established must register for CS 599 credits. Students may register for 0-12 credit hours.
    • Ph.D. students who have not passed their qualifying exam must register for 0 credit hours of ENG 510.
    • M.S. and M.C.S. students must register for 0 credit hours of ENG 510.

    Note: Students who must register for ENG 510 must first receive approval from the Grainger College of Engineering (GCOE) before they can register.  To apply for GCOE approval, please review information at https://grainger.illinois.edu/academics/graduate/cpt.

  • Follow steps for "International Student Services Office Process" provided below.

Application Process for Fall/Spring CPT

  • PhD students who have successfully completed their Qualifying Examination:  Are eligible to apply for full- or part-time CPT. Please contact Cassandra Phelps for more details.
  • MCS students: Effective Fall 2023, students who have completed at least two regular semesters as a full-time student in the MCS On-campus program will be eligible for a Full-Time internship during their third regular semester.  MCS students who are approved to participate in a Full-Time internship during their third semester will be approved to finish the remaining coursework in their fourth semester.
  • All other graduate students: Are eligible to apply for part-time CPT internships that are either on-campus or completed remotely while on campus.  Please follow the same application process as for Summer CPT.

International Student Services Office Process

Once a student submits the ISSS CPT form through the iStart portal, the form will be directed to Computer Science. Computer Science Academic Advising Office may contact the student and/or the faculty advisor if additional details are needed to review the application.

Additional Information

Information on Health Insurance and Basic Fees during Summer Term

Please visit the following web sites to review more information about tuition and fee assessment, including health insurance, McKinley Health Service fee, Service Fee, etc.

Length of Training

Students who participate in twelve months or more of full-time curricular practical training will lose eligibility to apply for twelve months of occupational practical training after graduate studies are completed.


Students on Summer CPT must register for the summer and fall terms prior to leaving for their training.

Changing Your Address

Once your CPT is approved, students need to update their address in the UI Integrate system to match the address of their CPT training for the period of their training. Once student return to campus, they need to update their address back to their address within the Champaign/Urbana area.

Graduate Academic Office Contact Information


Graduate Academic Office / University of Illinois
201 North Goodwin, 1312 Siebel Center
Urbana, IL 61801
Campus Mail Code: MC-258
Phone: (217) 333-4428
Fax: (217) 244-6073
Email: academic@cs.illinois.edu

Monday – Friday

  • Morning: 8:00 AM to 11:45 AM
  • Afternoon: 1:00 PM to 4:45 PM
  • Walk-in advising hours start at 10:00 AM

List of Graduate Advising Contacts and Virtual Advising Queue