As an F-1 student interested in off-campus employment, you may be eligible for either optional practical training or curricular practical training. In order to be eligible for one of these two forms of work permission, you must be an F-1 student for at least one academic year. Employment is considered a benefit for students; please read through the various employment descriptions to determine whether you are eligible.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training allows you, as an F-1 student, to accept paid, professional employment that is directly related to your field of study. Optional practical training may be undertaken in one or more of the following situations:
- on a part-time basis only during the academic year while engaged in coursework
- on a part-time or full-time basis, during the annual vacation period
- on a part-time or full-time basis, while working on a required final project following completion of all coursework
- on a full-time basis only once all degree requirements have been fulfilled
Each F-1 student is granted a maximum of 12 months of optional practical training. Optional practical training can be used on a pre-completion and/or post-completion basis, as long as the total amount used does not exceed 12 months. You must also meet certain eligibility criteria as indicated below. Note that part-time OPT counts at a rate of 50% toward full-time OPT. For example, 2 months of part-time OPT is equivalent to 1 month of full-time OPT.
Please contact OIPS for details about applying for Optional Practical Training. Applying early is strongly recommended.Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows you, as an F-1 student, to accept paid, off-campus employment that is an integral part of the curriculum of your degree program. CPT is divided into two categories:
- Internship: the employment is a mandatory part of a course that you are taking for degree credit. The course may be an elective, but the credit must count toward your degree.
- Practicum: this is a non-credit employment or fieldwork experience that your department requires of all degree candidates in your program.
CPT is available only if one of these categories is included in the curriculum of your degree program. Because every program has different academic requirements, not every student at MIAD will be able to take advantage of CPT. Please contact Duane Seidensticker in Career Services for information about Curricular Practical Training.
Please contact OIPS for details about applying for any form of employment authorization and accepting employment offers We look forward to helping you succeed!