Employment Options for International Students
Employment eligibility and the rules which govern employment options for international students are determined by federal laws and regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
An international student must not engage in employment without authorization from their designated school official or through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Unauthorized employment is a violation of F-1 status and will result in the termination of a student’s SEVIS record, requiring the student to depart the country immediately.
On-campus employment takes place on the school premises while the student is currently enrolled and maintaining valid F-1 status.
Off-campus employment is work that takes place outside of the school campus through curricular practical training, optional practical training, severe economic hardship, special student relief, or internship with an international organization. Off-campus employment is only available to F-1 students who have completed at least one full academic year of their program of study, and who have prior work authorization.
International students who maintain valid F-1 status are eligible for on-campus employment, and in specific cases, may be eligible for off-campus employment.
On-campus employment is performed on the school premises.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT includes alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is a type of work permission allowing students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study.
STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT)
STEM OPT is a 24-month extension of post-completion OPT to eligible students with a qualifying DHS STEM-designated degree.
International Organization Sponsored Employment
Benefit for students who secure an internship with a recognized international organization.
Severe Economic Hardship
Employment authorization for students who can show that new, unexpected circumstances beyond their control have created severe economic hardship.
Special Student Relief
Employment options for eligible SSR designated students experiencing unforeseen, severe economic hardship caused by emergent circumstances.
Performing hours of service for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons, with a nonprofit organization without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered.