Optional Practical Training (OPT)
F-1 students have opportunities to work in their degree field after their program of study. Students should consult with an International Programs advisor prior to engaging in any type of work, internship or training in order to ensure proper authorization.
What is OPT?
Post-completion OPT gives F-1 students the opportunity to work in the United States after completion of a degree. OPT is an excellent opportunity to gain practical experience in your field of study for up to one year.
Students in STEM fields may be eligible for an additional 24-month extension of post-completion OPT.
It is important to plan ahead when you apply for OPT. Your OPT approval may take up to three months (or more) to be processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). International Programs recommends that you apply as early as possible. The earliest you can apply is 90 days before your program end date.
How to Apply
First, you contact your international student advisor to request a new I-20 with a recommendation for OPT. Then you send your OPT application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.