International Student Paperwork

These instructions are specific only to the Engineering Co-op Program and need to be completed before the start of each working semester.

International students in F-1 status are eligible to participate in the Co-op Program and work legally in the United States with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization. 

  • International students must complete one full academic year of full-time coursework and must be pursuing an academic program to be eligible for CPT.

CPT Authorization

DO NOT start the CPT/ISSS process until you have accepted the job offer. Once you have accepted the job offer, start the CPT process right away. A separate CPT application needs to be completed for each working semester, even if the working semesters are consecutive. This process needs to be completed before the start of each working semester.

Do not delay starting on the CPT application. Students cannot begin employment until the CPT authorization is processed.The CPT authorization takes 7 business days to administer by the ISSS office and another 5 business days by the Co-op office (longer if submitted during the semester break). International students should communicate this time constraint with his or her employer so the student’s start date does not have to be pushed back to allow time for CPT authorization.

Questions? Send them to co-op@umn.edu.

Process/Paperwork required by ISSS:

Please visit the ISSS CPT page and proceed via the My ISSS Portal to begin the CPT process. 

  1. Student Request and Academic Adviser Verification form
    1. For the purposes of the co-op CPT, Dr Frank Kelso, kelso001@umn.edu, will serve as the academic advisor for signing the paperwork.
  2. Financial Certification statement (if I-20 financial information will change by greater than 25 percent)
  3. A completed CPT form, signed by Frank Kelso, the director of Co-op Program.
    1. Please list Dr. Frank Kelso as their academic adviser and he will then receive an email requesting he access the portal and approve the student's CPT request. 
    2. Allow 5 business days for this to be processed (this may be longer if submitted between semesters).
  4. Approval Letter from the Co-op Office. Submit the Co-op Approval Letter Request form as soon as possible after accepting the Co-op job offer, because it can take up to a week for the approval letter to be created. You can submit this at the same time you work working on the CPT.
    1. This letter will be emailed to you as a PDF, which you will then be required to upload with your CPT E-form via the CPT E-form application with ISSS.