The U.S. government takes working illegally very seriously. There are limited work opportunities available in the U.S. for international students. Because of this, international students are required to prove the financial ability to pay tuition and living expenses while studying.
If you do seek employment, the following limitations apply to international students:
- You are not permitted to work off-campus without permission from International Services in the form of a new I-20. Any off-campus job must be related to your major. Working off-campus without proper authorization is in direct violation of your status and may lead to the termination of your I-20.
- You can work on campus in any field.
- You can only work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session (you may work full-time during school breaks and your flex track if you are taking less than 12 credits).
Employment on Campus
International students can apply for any campus job, and it does not have to apply to their major. You can apply for jobs by looking through job postings on the Job Board.
If you are an incoming student, you can begin working on campus up to 30 days before your first semester starts.
Internships: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
See the Internships page for information related to internships.
OPT STEM Extension
F-1 international students have the opportunity to participate in Optional Practical Training after they graduate. This authorizes students to work in the U.S. for one year after graduation in a job related to their major. Students who graduated with a STEM degree are eligible to apply for an additional two years of OPT. While a Designated School Official (DSO) recommends the extension in SEVIS, it is the student who must apply for the extension with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If the application is approved, USCIS will issue a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for the STEM extension.
Students may submit their application to USCIS 90 days before their current OPT is set to expire but are unable to submit an application past their EAD end date. A student has 60 days from the time that the STEM OPT Extension I-20 is created to submit the application to USCIS. See the OPT STEM Extension page for more information.