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International Student and Faculty Services

Employment

F-1 Student Status Requirement

Students must have been in F-1 student status for at least one academic year before they can apply for CPT and must have properly maintained F-1 status each semester. The only exception to this rule applies to those students who are in degree programs that require an internship/practicum hours to fulfill degree requirements, such as student teaching or field work.

Hours of Employment

Total hours worked in any semester for the combined TOTAL of on- and off-campus work cannot exceed 20 hours per week, including graduate assistantships. During semester breaks and summer working hours can be full time.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training, also known as CPT, is an internship which is available to F-1 students under certain circumstances.  An internship must be an integral part of your program of study in your department.  CPT can be paid or unpaid by the employer.

ELIGIBILITY

Undergraduate Students:

  • Fall, spring semesters: Part-time CPT for a total of 20 hours per week, which includes on-campus work.
  • Summer semester: Full-time CPT. Students must not go over a total of 12 months (40-hours-a-week) of CPT during the entirety of their degree program.  Students who participate in full-time CPT over 12 months are INELIGIBLE for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after they graduate.
  • Students are responsible to keep track of their hours and ensure they do not exceed the limit.
  • Must be enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before being eligible to enroll in CPT.

Graduate Students:

  • Fall, spring, summer semesters: Full-Time CPT.
  • Students must not go over a total of 12 months of full-time (40-hours-a-week) of CPT during the entirety of their degree program.  Students who participate in full-time CPT over 12 months are INELIGIBLE for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after they graduate.
  • Students are responsible to keep track of their hours to ensure they do not exceed the limit.
  • Must be enrolled on a full-time basis for one academic year before being eligible to enroll in CPT.
    EXCEPTION: If Graduate Program supports immediate curricular training, students are eligible to start CPT during their first semester.
PROCESS
  • Students should first speak with their academic advisor to ensure their department will support CPT.
  • Make an appointment with the Global Education Office DSO who will provide a new Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” This confirms that the DSO has approved you for this employment.
  • Submit a signed cooperative agreement or letter from your employer to the DSO
  • Receive academic approval from the student’s department.
  • CPT does not substitute for a class nor does it take credit away from the total number of credits needed to complete a degree program. It is simply an extra credit.
  • CPT is renewable. Students need to complete the entire enrollment process for each semester enrolled in CPT.
  • Students must maintain full-time student status while participating in CPT.
    EXCEPTIONS include: summer semester, or if a student is completing their final semester before graduating.

OPT: Initial 12-Month

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit given to F-1 students who are completing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in the United States. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity to gain employment experience in a student’s field of study. OPT is adjudicated (approved) by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

To apply for 12-month OPT, please come into the Global Education Office for further information and to get the application.

OPT STEM 24-Month Extension

STEM OPT is an extension of the 12-month OPT for those students with a degree in a designated science, technology, engineering or math-related discipline. You can only apply for the STEM OPT if you are in a valid OPT post-completion period.

You must be ‘in status’ with your F-1 visa and be engaged in post-completion OPT. You must also have a job or a job offer from an employer who is participating in E-verify. If the company is not in E-verify, you cannot apply for the STEM extension.

You need to have completed your STEM-eligible degree from a US-accredited institution with SEVP certification within the last 10 years and have not already utilized this degree to apply for the OPT STEM extension. Or, you are in a period of post-completion OPT and engaged in a STEM-eligible Master’s or Ph.D. program, completed all required coursework, and have only a thesis or dissertation to complete.

You also need to be in an active period of post-completion OPT at the time of applying for the OPT STEM extension.

Your job needs to be paid, not volunteer. You cannot be self-employed.

On Campus Employment

Graduate Assistantships

Mission Statement

International Students and Faculty Services in the Global Education Office (GEO) supports international students and faculty by providing a caring environment of advocacy, assistance with visas, and cultural programming to enable them to achieve their educational goals and realize their potential as leaders.

Contact Information

BARBARA NITZBERG, M.A.
Assistant Director, Immigration and Visa Support
Global Education Office
Phone: 732-571-3640
Fax: 732-263-5692
E-mail: bnitzber@monmouth.edu