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If you are an F-1 student interested in off-campus employment opportunities, prior to graduation, off-campus work authorization is required. You may be eligible for off-campus employment after you receive approval for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (Pre-OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). 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.
Pre-Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Generally, F-1 students are eligible for a total of 12 months of pre-completion or post-completion OPT per degree program. The time requested for Pre-OPT will be deducted from the 12 months of OPT. The proposed employment must be in the student’s field of study. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply for Pre-OPT.
We recommend applying for Pre-OPT at least 104 days prior to your requested session start date. That will allow the ISSC office 10 to 14 working days to process your application and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services 90 days to process your application.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is a type of off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who must complete an internship course in order to graduate from their current degree program. The internship must appear on the Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS) or the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) as a requirement to complete the degree program and should not be added as an elective course to satisfy academic requirements.
We recommend applying for CPT 10 to 14 working days before the start of the requested session. Get eligibility information and learn more about how to apply for CPT.
Please consult with your academic advisor regarding your eligibility well in advance of applying for CPT. If you are ineligible for CPT, Pre-OPT may be an option.