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Employment Guidelines

Social Security Number

Information and Instructions: Apply for a SSN

Work Options

On Campus 

F-1 Students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and full time during breaks.  A student must have a social security card before he/she begins to work.

See the Career Development page for campus job listings in the Career Portal.

Curricular Practical Training – CPT

Curricular practical training (CPT) is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required practicum/internship that is directly related to your major and offered through cooperative agreements between sponsoring employers and your college or university. 

CPT is only available for F-1 students when it is part of an established curriculum within a school. CPT must be integral to your program of study. 

Optional Practical Training

Post-Completion OPT

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a form of training, often paid, that directly relates to your program of study. Up to 90 days before the end of your program, you can apply to participate in OPT after graduation.  This is known as post-completion OPT.

In order to apply for OPT, F-1 students must request approval from their DSO and fill out the proper paperwork with USCIS.  The Office of International Student Services provides an instructional meeting for all international seniors regarding OPT. 

You can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the Bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the Master’s level). If you are an F-1 student earning a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM), you may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension. For more information, visit the STEM OPT page of Study in the States.    

The application time for students is 90 days before graduation through 60 days after graduation