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Student Employment Options

Specific information on On-Campus Employment, CPT, OPT, and Academic Training can be found on the International Center's  International Student Services "organization" on Blackboard.

On Campus Employment 

Students on F-1/J-1 visas are allowed to work on-campus for 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester.  During the summer, F/J students are allowed to work full-time on-campus.  The definition of on-campus is any office where you are working for Winthrop University and receiving a pay check from Winthrop University. 

For more information on On-Campus Employment please contact Winthrop's International Student Advisor or and visit the International Student Services "organization" on Blackboard.

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Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Information and Application

USCIS defines “curricular practical training” as an employment option available to F-1 students where the employment is considered to be an integral or required part of the curriculum or academic program. 

Criteria for CPT

The CPT employment must be listed in the program of study for the students degree program and be considered necessary for the awarding of the degree. The employment must be required of the course.  The course and employment must run simultaneously, meaning you must be registered for the course during the same period that you are working under CPT authorization. 

Eligibility Requirements for CPT

  • To be eligible for CPT, you must have been a student enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year, your employment must be an integral and required part of your degree program and offered for academic credit and the job must be related to your major or field of study.  Graduate students in their first year of study may be eligible for CPT when required by their program of study.  Undergraduates are not eligible in their first year of study.
  • Student must have a written offer of employment from an employer that qualifies as CPT.  This employment letter must be submitted to the International Student Advisor on company letterhead for consideration with the completed CPT application.
  • Depending on a student's eligibility and academic needs, employment can be either part-time or full-time.  Employment authorization is granted by the International Student Advisor, in consultation with the student's academic advisor.  Employment must be endorsed on page 2 of the students I-20 prior to beginning employment.
  • Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location and period of time approved by the International Center and noted on page 2 of your I-20.
  • Students must be enrolled in a full load of courses to participate in CPT during the semester.  Over the summer break, the student must have been enrolled full time during the spring term and enrolled full time during the upcoming fall term.

For more information on Curricular Practical Training please contact Winthrop's International Student Advisor or and visit the International Student Services "organization" on Blackboard.

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Optional Practical Training (OPT) Information and Application

Optional Practical Training, or OPT is an employment benefit awarded to F-1 students by USCIS.  Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is used for extending your legal F-1 status to enable authorization of work that is directly related to your field of study.  USCIS determines eligibility for OPT and reserves the right not to award OPT if a student has violated and failed to maintain their legal status while studying in the United States.

Students are eligible for two periods of OPT.  There is a 12-month benefit allowed after receiving an undergraduate degree and another 12-month benefit allowed after receiving a graduate degree.  OPT must be completed within 14 months of completion of your studies.

Types of OPT and When to Apply for OPT-

  • Pre-Completion OPT
    • You can work full-time or part-time during your annual vacation (summer) if you intend to register for the next term;
    • You can work while school is in session provided that the OPT does not exceed 20 hours per week.
    • You can apply any time provided that you have been a student for 9 consecutive months.
  • Post-Completion OPT
    • You can apply for OPT after the completion of your course of study.
    • You are eligible for 12 months of OPT after your undergraduate degree and another 12 months after your graduate degree.  You cannot receive two periods of consecutive OPT meaning 24 months after completion of a graduate degree.
    • You can apply during the semester of your graduation, not more than 90 days before your program end date. 

For more information on Optional Practical Training please contact Winthrop's International Student Advisor or and visit the International Student Services "organization" on Blackboard.

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Academic Training

Academic training is available only to students holding J-1 visas.  Academic Training is a type of employment (paid or unpaid) that is directly related to your major area of study and authorized by your J-1 program sponsor, Winthrop University.  Academic Training is designed for students to apply knowledge and skills learned at Winthrop University. For more information on Academic Training please contact Winthrop's International Student Advisor or and visit the International Student Services "organization" on Blackboard.

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Before beginning any type of employment off-campus you must make an appointment to speak with Winthrop's International Student Advisor.

 If you have questions about employment authorization at Winthrop University contact the International Center

 


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218 Dinkins Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
803/323-2133
803/323-2340 (fax)
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