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Exciting Employment Opportunities in the United States

As part of their academic program, master’s degree students are required to work through a program called Curricular Practical Training. This program provides a unique opportunity for students to work in the United States while gaining practical experience that can be applied to their academic studies.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training refers to work or training that directly relates to one’s field of study. CPT is designed to give students practical application in subjects taught in their master’s level courses. Through this program, international students are able to get a job in the United States that directly relates to their field of study and work for the duration of their academic program.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is not a requirement for students. OPT provides an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills obtained in a master’s program to practical work experience in the U.S. OPT takes place after a student has completed his or her program of study. This employment opportunity must be directly related to the student’s major field of study and must be endorsed by the International Student Office.

CPT | Curricular Practical Training

 

F-1 students can work up to 40 hours per week in CPT jobs, earn regular wages, and use the money to supplement their lifestyles. CPT is offered for credit as a required part of all SHC master programs, and CPT is required when starting a master’s program at SHC. This is an academic program and not an employment program; however, students may seek employment with an off-campus company.

What is the CPT application process?

The first step is to attend a required CPT workshop course that will assist you with the following:
 

  • Creating professional documents to assist in gaining employment (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn account)
  • Listing and narrowing down job interests
  • Creating an effective job search plan
  • Job search and interviewing

 
The next step is to work with the International Student Office (ISO) to search and apply for jobs that are directly related to your major area of study. CPT must be completed with a Stevens-Henager approved cooperative employer.
To be approved for CPT, a student must submit an official letter (or letters) from the prospective employer containing the following:
 

  • Job title
  • Job description
  • Job duties
  • Job location
  • Employment start date and end date
  • Number of hours per week
  • Supervisor’s name and signature
  • Company name, address, and telephone number

 
To receive an approved CPT opportunity, students must be:
 

  1. current with applicable tuition fees and
  2. in good academic standing.

 
Students should allow three to five business days to receive their CPT approval and updated Form I-20. The final step is to submit the CPT application document to ISO.

How long can I work with CPT?

If you are interested in applying for OPT following your graduation from Stevens-Henager College, it is important that you keep track of how long you are working full-time on CPT. If you exceed 12 months (52 weeks) of full-time CPT, you will forfeit your ability to apply for OPT. However, there are no limits on the amount of part-time CPT employment you can engage in.
 
Full-time = 21 or more hours per week
Part-time = 20 or fewer hours per week
Can I combine full-time and part-time? Yes.

Can I work out of the state?

No, you cannot work for a company outside of Utah. The only exception is if you are authorized to work remotely from within Utah, and your training times do not interfere with your class schedule.
 
What about international companies located outside of the USA? If you are working with an international company outside of the USA that relates to your degree program, you will be able to receive CPT points. You will not need to update your I-20, but you will need to provide the ISO with a copy of your job offer and description in order to receive points for CPT reporting.

How do I get a Social Security card?

After your job offer letter has been reviewed and approved, you will receive an updated Form 1-20 with CPT work authorization. You must then take this updated Form I-20, job offer/description, I-94 Form, passport/visa, and a completed SS-5 application to the Social Security office. After you apply, you should receive your Social Security card within two to four weeks.
 
After you receive your Social Security card, take it to the ISO to update your student information. More information about Social Security cards and international students is available here.

Taxes and F-1 Students?

  1. What taxes should I be paying? As an F-1 student, you are required to pay state and federal taxes. However, Social Security and Medicare taxes are not required of you. See the following links:
    IRS on F-1 visa holders and taxes
    IRS Notice 1392
  2. What is a 1098T? This useful document will potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars when filing your taxes. The 1098T Tuition Statement provides tax credits based on the amount of tuition you paid during the previous school year. This document can be printed in your Student Portal as long as the school has an updated Social Security number on file.
    More on the 1098T


 
 

OPT | Optional Practical Training

 

International master’s degree students at Stevens-Henager College can apply for OPT no more than 90 days prior to their program end date. A student may qualify for OPT if he or she has not accumulated more than 12 months of full-time CPT employment.

 

Students do not need a job offer to apply for OPT, but authorization is decided by USCIS, not the college. The ISO can advise students about the OPT application, but it’s the student’s sole responsibility to complete and submit the application with all the required supporting documentation. Once the application is received by USCIS, they will process the application and directly notify the student of their decision.

 

Follow this link to learn more about OPT and begin the application process.

Stevens-Henager College admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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