Optional Practical Training (OPT)

two girls looking at test tubes

Optional Practical Training Overview

Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives an F-1 student the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a degree program through off-campus employment after completion of all degree requirements. 

Employment approval takes at least 90 days, so careful planning is required.

Helpful Acronyms and Terms

  • OPT — Optional Practical Training 
  •  USCIS — U.S. Customs and Immigration Service 
  • EAD Card — Employment Authorization Document  
  • SEVP — Student and Exchange Visitor Program 
  • Grace Period — the 60 days following the last day of the quarter you complete the requirements for your degree OR the 60 days following your authorized OPT period

Additional Resources