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If you are an F-1 student interested in off-campus employment opportunities prior to graduation, you will need work authorization. You will be eligible for off-campus employment only after you receive approval for Curricular Practical Training or Pre-Optional Practical Training. To be eligible for either option, you must maintain your F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year in your current degree program. Working off campus without authorization will put your immigration status in jeopardy; unauthorized employment is grounds for F-1 status termination.

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training

Generally, F-1 students are eligible for a total of 12 months of OPT per degree level. The time requested for Pre-OPT will be deducted from the 12 months of Post-OPT. The proposed employment must be in your field of study.

We recommend applying for Pre-OPT at least 97 days prior to your requested session start date. If you plan on working this summer using Pre-OPT, please apply now.

Applying for Pre-OPT


Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training is a type of off-campus employment authorization available for F-1 students who have an internship course as an integral part of their established curriculum.

The proposed employment must meet one of the following requirements:
  • Internship is required of all candidates for a particular degree program.
  • Internship is required of a particular student's degree program as a planned option in their degree plan.

You must be enrolled in an internship course as required or approved by your academic unit. Each academic unit has unique internship requirements.

We recommend applying for CPT at least a few weeks before the start of the requested session as your academic department may have a processing time in addition to the ISSC processing time. Please take into account that the ISSC processing time does not begin until your academic advisor has provided their approval.

Applying for CPT


Have questions? Contact the ISSC.

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