Employment for International Students

Persons on F-1 student visas are admitted to the US for the sole purpose of being a full-time student. As such, any employment should be complimentary to this purpose. Students should not expect employment in the US to substantially financial support them while in school.

Obtaining a Social Security Number

If a student is hired, they must obtain/apply for a US Social Security Number to begin working. After the student has been hired and given a letter of employment, they can come to the International Student Services Office to get a letter to apply to the Social Security Administration.

On-Campus Employment

Students may work On-Campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. During winter and summer break student may be hired as full-time at the discretion of their on-campus employer(s).  

Student should work with Career Services as a resource to help them build their employability skills.

Off-Campus Employment

Off-Campus employment authorization can only be granted after a student has been enrolled for one academic year. 

During a Degree Program

Severe Economic Hardship

If an unexpected economic hardship arises that significantly changes the student’s financial support, they may request they be granted authorization to work off campus instead of the on-campus authorization.

This application must begin with the ISS Office and then the student must apply to USCIS.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Internships and Practicums-Students who have an integral academic need to work, such as engaging in a for-credit internship or practicum course, can be granted authorization through the ISS office. The student must first work with their advisor and employer to arrange and register for the course. 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Rarely it may be beneficial for a student to apply for pre-completion OPT. If a student believes this to be the case, they should contact ISS.


After a Degree Program

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Students are granted the ability to work in their field of study in the US for at least one year per degree level on Optional Practical Training. 

OPT may take place anywhere in the US and the work experience must relate to the student's degree.  The application process is done through ISS and may not be started until 90 days prior to the program end date.  If a student's program ends spring semester they will need to contact ISS no sooner than February 16th; if the program ends in the fall the student should contact ISS no sooner than September 21st.

STEM Extension

Students in certain science, technology, engineering, or math fields may apply for a two-year extension to their regular OPT. This extension may not be filed more than 90 days before the end of regular OPT.