OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING OVERVIEW
Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides F-1 students with an opportunity for hands-on work experience (work authorization) related to the academic field of study.
- You are eligible to apply if you meet the following criteria:
- You are currently in F-1 status.
- You have been enrolled in a full course of study for one academic year or will complete one academic year by the date the OPT approval begins.
- You have not exceeded 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization. (Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility.)
- You do not need a job offer first; you can apply for the 12-month OPT authorization without a job offer.
- You have not previously completed 12 months of OPT at the same degree level.
- You are eligible for 12 months of full-time OPT per academic level. For example, you may apply for 12 months of OPT after completing a bachelor's degree and then another 12 months after completing a master's degree.
- You may apply for OPT authorization during your academic program, after your program completion, or a combination of both.
- While approved for OPT, you are still in F-1 status and must report address changes and employment information to the Office of Global Affairs.
STEM OPT Extension
Students in their 12-month OPT authorization period, with a qualifying STEM degree and working for an E-Verify registered employer, may apply for an extension of their OPT.