Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as temporary employment to gain practical experience in your major field(s) of study. OPT is most frequently undertaken immediately following graduation (which is knows as Post-Completion OPT), but in some circumstances may also be conducted prior to the completion of a degree program (which is called Pre-Completion OPT).
To learn more about OPT and to get started on your application please schedule a meeting with your international Student Advisor.
F-1 students are eligible for 12 months of OPT per educational level. STEM majors may also be eligible for a 24 month STEM OPT extension.
You are eligible to apply for Post-completion OPT if you meet the following criteria:
Regarding Pre-completion OPT:
Note: You do not need to have a job already lined up at the time you apply for OPT.
You may not apply for Curricular Practical Training once you have applied for OPT.
Termination of OPT. OPT is automatically terminated when a student accumulates 90 days of unemployment, transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level.
Authorization May Not be Rescinded or Cancelled. This means that, after OPT is authorized by the USCIS, unexpected delays in completing degree requirements, inability to find an appropriate job, or loss of a job may result in loss of otherwise eligible time to work. Once permission to work has been given, it is gone regardless of subsequent occurrences.
Change of Employer After OPT Has Been Authorized. You may change employers after you have begun authorized employment provided the new job is (1) directly related to your major field of study and (2) appropriate for someone having your level of education. You must report all changes and breaks in employment to the International Programs.