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 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 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.
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.
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:
To receive an approved CPT opportunity, students must be:
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.
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.