Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary employment benefit extended to F-1 students after graduation who have been maintaining their full-time student status for at least one full academic year. Its purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain work experience related to their degree and is limited to 12 months total for each degree level in a field directly related to the students' course of study. A 17-month STEM extension for OPT is available to graduates of the B.S. Biomedical Sciences or B.S. Health Sciences degrees only. For more information on this STEM extension, please contact the International Student Advisor.
Students with an active I-20 cannot attend school to pursue a degree while completing OPT. Students are allowed to take up to 6 credits of courses per trimester while on OPT as long as a degree is not being pursued. OPT authorization expires the day an international student enrolls in a new academic program with an I-20 prior to the expiration of the OPT. Part-time classes may be taken for enrichment purposes only during OPT.
To apply for OPT, make an appointment with the International Student Advisor at least three months prior to the date of graduation. Do not apply for OPT if you think you may not graduate on time.