On-campus employment is allowed for F-1 visa holders with permission through the Center for Global Education and does not require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approval. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week during the academic session and 40 hours per week during the vacation periods.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives F-1 students an opportunity for work experience in the U.S. before and/or after completion of their degree. It is limited to a total of 12 months in a field directly related to their course of study. Students apply for OPT 90 days prior to end of their academic program. The Center for Global Education organizes an OPT information session at the beginning of each semester that all students interested in applying for OPT must attend in order to apply for OPT.
For an international student to be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), the work in which the student will engage must be an integral part of the degree program, meaning that is must be required for graduation or the student must receive academic credit for the work experience. Usually this is through an off-campus internship experience.
What is the difference between Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
CPT is authorized for off-campus work performed before completion of your academic program. OPT can be authorized for off-campus work before or after completion of your academic program.