On-Campus Employment 

F-1/J-1 students are eligible to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the academic year and full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during winter and summer vacation. On-campus employment may include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, student positions at the campus library, food/dining services, etc. Students are not eligible to work on-campus after the completion of their degree unless they have work authorization in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card). If an F-1 or J-1 visa holder works over their allowed period of on-campus employment even by minutes, it is a serious violation of immigration status that will result in termination of status. J-1 students will need written approval from ISO before being able to start any position on-campus. Please note that on-campus employment is competitive and there are limited job opportunities.

Students can work on-campus while doing Curricular Practical Training (see below for more information on CPT). Not every student will need to do CPT, but if they do, students can work a combination of on-campus and off-campus (CPT) for a maximum time of 20 hours per week, during the Fall and Spring semesters. During the Summer vacation, students can work more than 20 hours on-campus, if students are not required to be enrolled by their program. If students are required to be enrolled for the Summer semester, then they can work up to 20 hours per week on-campus and may fulfill any CPT obligations in addition.


ALL OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT REQUIRES ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATION BY THE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES OFFICE. Any participation in off-campus employment without the required authorization is a serious violation of immigration status that will result in termination of status. Please see the information below on how to obtain off-campus employment authorization.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization linked to an academic program in order to allow students to participate in either an internship or training required of all students obtaining that degree or employment that is for academic/degree credit and is an integral part of the degree program.  Therefore, you must be enrolled in your internship course when requesting CPT.  Since CPT must be part of your academic program it is not available after you complete your academic program. Students must receive CPT authorization when enrolled in their internship or practicum class whether it is paid or unpaid.  Please see volunteering restrictions HERE

CPT must be authorized BEFORE you begin working!

CPT is authorized per semester.  If you enroll in the same internship for a different semester, you must receive CPT authorization.  For example, if you are interning at Acme Health during Summer 2019 and would like to continue interning with Acme Health for Fall 2019, you must renew your CPT request to International Services Office *BEFORE* you begin your internship in Fall.

Changing an internship in the same semester also requires authorization from the International Services Office.  For example, if you are working with Acme Health during June and you would like to work with Baca Health in July, you must receive authorization from the International Services Office *BEFORE* you begin your internship.

If you have been lawfully enrolled in school full-time for two semesters and are currently in F1 status, you may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training. CPT is a departmental privilege, and thus may be revoked for academic reasons at any time. In order to apply for CPT, students must submit the CPT Application Form and a job offer letter from their potential employer on the company’s letterhead, which must include the following information:

Your full name

Company name and address (physical address, not a P.O. Box)

Position title with a job description

Supervisor’s name, phone number, and e-mail address

Salary/hourly wage for the position

Number of hours per week to be worked

Start Date and End Date

Course you are enrolled in such as HMAP 5397


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off-campus. You may use some or all of the available 12 months of practical training during your course of study or save the full twelve months to use after you complete your studies. Authorization for optional practical training is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and can take at least 90 days to obtain. It is important that you apply for the authorization at the earliest possible date. Students will need to contact the International Student Office for more information about applying for OPT.  If you are in your final semester, please contact the International Student Office at the beginning of your final term regarding OPT.

24 MONTH OPT STEM EXTENSION  (Please review STEM OPT Hub  to help understand OPT STEM Extension regulation)

You may be eligible for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training if:

  • You have graduated with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. in a STEM field. These are identified by CIP code. For a complete approved list please go to www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm
  • The application must be submitted during the period of your current OPT, but no earlier than 90 days prior to your OPT end date.
  • You have not applied for the 24-month extension previously.
  • Your employer is registered in the E-Verify Program.


If you are suffering severe economic hardship due to unforeseen changes in your financial circumstances, you may apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for authorization to work off-campus. To apply for economic hardship you must prove to USCIS that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status. Economic hardship does not alleviate you from the full-time enrollment requirement!  You must continue to maintain F-1 status.

  • Loss of financial support
  • Substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate
  • Inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of your source of support, such as a loss of a family business
  • Excessive medical bills

The employment authorization is granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time. You must have other income as the authorization allows for only 19 hours per week of work while full-time enrolled. You may work 20 hours or more per week during semester breaks and your annual vacation.  This employment does not affect your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Employment authorization is automatically terminated if you graduate, fail to maintain status, or transfer to another school.

If you would like to apply for economic hardship, please contact the International Services Office to check for eligibility and the application requirements.