Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an extension of F-1 student status that allows international students to work in the United States in order to gain practical experience.  

Any OPT employment must be directly related to the student's field of study and commensurate with his/her degree level. 

The OPT must be recommended by the International Student Advisor, and it must be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS – Division of the Department of Homeland Security).

Please review the OPT FAQs for a detailed overview of OPT rules and application procedures.

Any student seeking to obtain OPT Authorization is encouraged to apply via the OPT Application Drop Off option or contact the ISSO to make an OPT appointment up to four months before the expected start date of the OPT employment.


A Note of Caution to F-1 Students: Do not begin any off-campus employment (paid or unpaid) without first obtaining employment authorization.  Working off-campus without obtaining employment authorization is a serious violation of F-1 student status.