Union University
Union University Dept of Language
International Students

International Student Office


An F-1 student may accept part-time employment at the university he or she is authorized to attend without prior approval from the USCIS provided that certain requirements are met. On-campus employment may not begin earlier than 30 days prior to classes starting. Students may work up to 20 hours on campus while school is in session, and may be full-time on campus while school is not in session

An F-1 student must apply for off-campus employment authorization and may receive authorization for off-campus only under conditions authorized practical training.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training or OPT is off-campus work authorization in your field of study, granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The authorization is for 12 months and up to 40 hours per week. Students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year to be eligible for OPT. F-1 students must be within 90 days of program completion date (graduation) to apply for post-completion OPT. To determine your eligibility for OPT please make an appointment with your International Student Advisor.

Students may apply for post-completion OPT no earlier than 90 days before completion of all degree requirements and no later than 60 days from the program completion date. In order to apply for OPT, please make an appointment with your PDSO.

OPT is automatically terminated when a student transfers to another school or begin study at a different academic level.

Students on OPT must report any change of name/address and interruption of employment to ISO for the duration of authorized OPT or fall out of status. Students are required to report the name and address of their employer to the PDSO. Students must also report the end date of employment to the PDSO. Unemployment for 90 days or more during OPT may result in the cancellation of OPT by SEVIS, thus causing the student to be out of status.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as an off-campus alternative work/study, internship, or other type of required internship or practicum. A DSO may authorize student to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT will only be authorized when the student can receive academic credit for the internship/practicum or as required by the curriculum. The internship must be part of the established curriculum (i.e. in the handbook as an option for a class). To determine your eligibility for CPT, please make an appointment with your International Student Advisor.