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CPT-OPT Information

A student holding lawful F-1 or J-1 status is in the United States for the primary purpose of engaging in a full course of study. When necessary, international students can procure different types of employment depending on their visa status, including on-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Academic Training. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) can provide more information regarding these forms of employment.

On-campus employment

F-1 students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus when classes are in session, and over 20 hours per week during semester breaks and during the student's annual vacation term.

For more, please visit the OIA "On-campus Employment" page.

CPT--Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus work authorization for F-1 students during their academic program (prior to graduation). CPT is defined in the federal regulations to be "alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. CPT is an integral part of an established curriculum." Because CPT is defined as "curricular," only work that is directly related to a student's major field of study, and which is important for a student's academic progress, may be considered for approval.


  • Review the OIA "Curricular Practical Training" page.
  • Enrollment in at least 0.5 credits of MATSCEN or WELDENG 7193.01 is required in the term in which an international student will be away for CPT.
  • Typically, CPT occurs over the Summer term. SU is a "vacation" term for international students and enrollment is not required by the university. International students--whether MS, pre-candidacy, or post-candidacy--who will not be supported as a GRA during the SU term of internship may enroll in only 0.5 cr. If supported by a GRA during an internship, please contact Mark Cooper.73.
  • If the internship will occur during AU or SP semester, a post-candidacy student must enroll in at least 3 graduate credits (3 x 7193.01 would satisfy the requirement); 8 graduate credits if pre-candidacy or MS.
  • Please contact Mark Cooper.73 as soon as you are considering an internship so he can help you navigate the process.


OPT--Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a type of work authorization for F-1 students, defined in the federal regulations as "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study." It is intended to provide students with practical experience in their field of study during or, more commonly, upon completion of a degree program.

For more, please visit the OIA "Optional Practical Training" page.


J-1 Academic Training

Academic Training is a type of off-campus work authorization for J-1 students. It is available before completion of your program of study as well as afterwards, and may be for paid or unpaid employment. You may work part time on Academic Training while classes are in session, and full time during summer vacation periods and official school breaks. J-1 students in degree-granting programs, as well as those in non-degree exchange programs, are eligible to apply for Academic Training.

For more, please visit the OIA "J-1 Academic Training" page.


Please contact

Office of International Affairs
140 Enarson Classroom Building,
2009 Millikin Road,
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-292-6101

Web site:

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