Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary work authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical off-campus work experience in the student’s field of study for a maximum duration of one year per educational level.
Students may use some or all of the available 12 months of practical training during their course of study or save the full twelve months to use after completion of program. Authorization for optional practical training is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and can take 90 days to obtain. It is important that students apply for the authorization at the earliest possible date through International Services.
In order to apply for OPT, F-1 students must be in full time student status for at least one full academic year in a degree seeking program preceding the submission of the OPT application. They must also be maintaining valid F-1 status at the time of the application and intend to work in a position directly related to their major field of study.