Summer Employment

Make sure you have employment authorization before taking summer work
By India Baker Hudspeth, International Student Advisor

Interested in working this summer? First you must make sure you have work authorization! Whether it is paid or unpaid, you must have the appropriate work authorization before you start.

I want to work off-campus:

If you want to work off-campus, the job or internship must be related to your field of study. There are two ways to get authorization, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Depending on your program of study, you may be eligible for CPT. CPT is work that is a part of a structured program offered in the curriculum. You must get approval from your school, enroll for a CPT-approved course as determined by your school, and then obtain approval from OISS.

If CPT is not available to you, you could apply for pre-completion OPT. First, you must attend an OPT workshop (sign up via the OISS Events Calendar: The application takes about 90 days to process, so you should apply as early as possible if you want authorization for this summer.

I want to work on-campus:

As an F-1 student you are allowed to work full time during the summer break on-campus. The job does not have to be related to your field of study. For help finding an on-campus job we recommend visiting the Career Center (

Please note! Unpaid internships are considered work:

Unpaid and volunteer work is still work. You must get authorization.

If you have any questions, contact your International Advisor at the OISS or come to our walk-in hours, Mon-Thu 1:30-3:30.



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