There are two general categories of employment for immigration purposes: "on-campus" and "off-campus practical training." Both categories require that you are maintaining your legal status as an F-1 student, including being enrolled full-time (except during the official break periods).
The information below provides an overview of each employment category. Please contact OIPS for more information before you accept and begin any form of employment. Working without proper authorization from the U.S. government will cause you to lose your legal F-1 status and requires a lengthy and costly petition process called "reinstatement."
If you are an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on-campus as long as you meet some basic requirements. On-campus employment is limited to part-time positions during the school year; full-time positions are permitted during official vacation periods. For hourly positions, part-time employment is a maximum of 20 hours per week; full-time employment is over 20 hours per week. Click here to learn about on-campus employment at MIAD.
As an F-1 student interested in off-campus employment, you may be eligible for one of two types of work permission: "optional practical training" or "curricular practical training." In order to be eligible for one of these benefits, you must be in F-1 status for at least one academic year and maintain your legal status . Employment is considered a benefit for students, so read through the various employment descriptions to determine whether you are eligible.
- Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows as an F-1 student to accept paid, professional employment that is directly related to your field of study. Each F-1 student is granted a maximum of 12 months of Optional Practical Training. Please contact OIPS for details regarding how and when to apply for OPT.
- 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 and Practicum. 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 eligible for CPT. For more information about CPT, contact Duane Seidensticker in Career Services.
Please contact OIPS for answers to any questions you may have regarding employment authorization. We look forward to helping you succeed!