This page gives information about steps to follow when you are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (students on F-1 visa), or Academic Training (students on J-1 visa).
If this type of training is your first employment in the U.S., you will also need to apply for a Social Security Number.
Off-Campus Employment for F-1 Students
12-Month Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT), allows F-1 students to gain a maximum of 12 months of practical experience directly related to their field of study per higher degree level. It is considered off-campus employment
Students applying for permission for either before-completion of studies or after-completion of studies Optional Practical Training must attend a workshop offered by the International Student & Scholar Center. This workshop is offered a few times each semester.
OPT Request and Recommendation forms:
17-Month Extension of Optional Practical Training
Students who are currently on post-completion OPT and who received degrees in certain STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ) AND who are working for companies that are registered on E-Verify MAY be able to apply for an additional 17 months.. However, you may not apply until 90 days before the end of your current OPT.
For students (and their Employers) interested in OPT extension, here are the criteria, checklist and reporting requirements:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment opportunity in the United States, available to international students in valid F-1 status, in their field of study. In order to be considered CPT the experience must be a required or integral part of your program of study and directly related to your field.
Students applying for Curricular Practical Training must attend a workshop offered by the International Student & Scholar Center. This workshop is offered a few times each semester.
CPT Letters for Approval:
Off-Campus Employment for J-1 Students
J-1 students are eligible for off-campus employment in the form of Academic Training. Students applying for Academic Training must attend a workshop offered by the International Student & Scholar Center.
Academic Training Presentation
Academic training involves work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study, and is often done after completion of the program of study. Academic training may be paid or unpaid. Please see this separate section for details.