Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work authorization benefit
allowing F-1 students to gain up to one year of experience in their
fields of study, generally after completion of studies. Employment must
be directly related to the student’s area of study. OPT can also be used
before completion of studies during school breaks (40 hours per week) and
while school is in session (up to 20 hours per week).
No job offer
is needed to apply. Students who have maintained F-1 status for at least
one academic year before applying are eligible. OPT work authorization
is granted by USCIS and processing times vary widely throughout the
year. Therefore, students should plan ahead to allow for processing
times of at least two months and also should allow two weeks processing
Deadline to apply: Students must apply at least two weeks
before completion of studies date and can apply as early as 90 days in
advance of their completion-of-studies. Any OPT done before completion-of-studies is subtracted from the 12 month total available to you.
interested in OPT should set up an appointment with the Office of
International Programs to discuss the application. Call 388-8896 to
schedule an appointment. A Form I-765 will need to be completed by the student.