Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Students may work in a full or part-time job that their academic advisor has deemed to bedirectly related to their academic major. OPT can take place before graduation, but is usually done afterwards.

 Students on OPT may not exceed more than 12 months of full-time employment. If a student participates in OPT prior to graduating, the student cannot work more than 20 hours a week while classes are in session. Any number of months of OPT that were used before graduation will be deducted from the student's OPT after his or her graduation. Full-time employment is possible when classes are not in session or after the student has graduated.

The International Student Advisors recommend OPT, but it is the USCIS that approves it by issuing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Students on an F-1 Visa are eligible for one 12-month period of OPT after each higher degree program that they complete. While on OPT, the student must report their employment to our office.

For information on current OPT dates please stop by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in Room 1H06.

Updating Employment

While on OPT, students are allowed up to 90 days of unemployment during their practical studies. It is required that students report their employment.