» Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training or OPT allows you to work for one year, following graduation, in a job related to your major or field of study. Each semester, Susan Sams announces an OPT session for graduating seniors and grads which you are encouraged to attend for more detailed information. You can also make an appointment to speak with Susan Sams about OPT directly. Students must have been in good status as an F-1 visa student for at least one academic year at the time they are applying.


Students who have received a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields may be eligible for a 24 month extension on their OPT. This is a once in a life time extension that is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once approved, an Employment Authorization Document or EAD card will be issued which shows the dates the student is eligible to work in the United States.

STEM Requirements

  • Student must be on OPT at the time they apply
  • Student must verify that they've completed a STEM degree
  • Requirements for Employment:
    • Employment can be paid or unpaid
    • Employment must be at least 20 hours/week
    • Employment must be related to student’s field of study
    • Employer must be certified through the US Government’s E-Verify Employment Verification System
    • Must report termination of employee within 48 hours