What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an employment authorization benefit for F-1 students, allowing students to work in a job directly related to their major area of study for a maximum of 12 months per academic level. Most students who apply for OPT plan to use their 12-month period of OPT immediately following graduation, or soon after. Students interested in applying for OPT should take steps to learn about the application process (and what is and is not permitted with OPT authorization), and should contact their International Student Advisor for specific application procedures at their college.
For information on the 24-Month STEM OPT Extension, please visit the 24 Month OPT Extension Page, linked here.
Information on Optional Practical Training
Use the links below to navigate through information about OPT:
Find out if you are eligible to apply for OPT and learn about which types of employment are permitted under OPT. Other frequently asked questions answered.
Timing of OPT application and required application materials.
During the OPT period, students are still considered to be in F-1 immigration status and must maintain F-1 status at all times so that their OPT remains valid. The requirements of maintaining status change during the post-completion period and should be taken seriously.
Students graduating from a STEM-designated degree program may be eligible for an additional 24-month extension.