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Optional Practical Training (OPT)

A student may apply to the Student Exchange Visitor Information Service (SEVIS) for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.

A student may submit an application for authorization to engage in optional practical training up to 90 days prior to being enrolled for one full academic year, provided that the period of employment will not begin until after the completion of the full academic year as indicated by the Designated School Official.

A student may be granted authorization to engage in temporary employment for optional practical training:

  1. During the student’s annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session, if the student is currently enrolled, and is eligible for registration and intends to register for the next term or session;

  2. While school is in session, provided that practical training does not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session; or

  3. After completion of the course of study.

There is an extensive application process and a large fee is required.  If a student is interested in applying for OPT, they should contact the Office of International Relations approximately 2 months prior to their desired potential employment start date.

For more information on OPT, click here.

To download an application for OPT Employment and Application Directions, click here