On Campus Employment 

Upon beginning their studies, students on a F-1 visa are immediately eligible to work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week during the semster and up to 40 hours a week during winter break and summer vacation. A student must be in good academic standards and registered full-time before getting work permission from the Office of International Student & Scholar Services. Permission is obtained by filling out the On Campus Employment Form

On Campus Employment Form

For more information on jobs that are available on-campus please visit the On-Campus Student Employment Office in Shepard Hall room 53A or their website

*Please note that students on an F-1 Visa are NOT eligible to work in any Federal Work Study (FWS) position


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Students are eligible to work in a part time job or internship that is off campus. During the winter break and summer vacation students may work full time (40 hours per week). The student's academic advisor must verify that the job position or internship is directly related to the student's academic major. Internships may or may not be for course credit. If a student on CPT works full time (40 hours per week) for 12 months or more, they will NOT BE ELIGIBLE to have Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation. 

Before applying, a student must be in F-1 status and have been a full time student for at least one academic year. 

Please find the CPT application here.

For Computer Science majors please click this link for more information. 


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Students may work in a full or part-time job that their academic advisor has deemed to be directly related to their academic major. OPT can take place before graduation, but is usually done afterwards. Students on OPT may not exceed more than 12 months of full-time employment. If a student participates in OPT prior to graduating, the student cannot work more than 20 hours a week while classes are in session. Any number of months of OPT that were used before graduation will be deducted from the student's OPT after his or her graduation. Full-time employment is possible when classes are not in session or after the student has graduated.

The International Student Advisors recommend OPT, but it is the USCIS that approves it by issuing an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Students on an F-1 Visa are eligible for one 12-month period of OPT after each higher degree program that they complete. While on OPT, student must report their employment to our office.

For information on current OPT dates please stop by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services or view the form.

OPT Advisor Recommendation Form


Updating Employment

While on OPT, students are allowed up to 90 days of unemployment during their practical studies. It is required that students report their employment. Once you obtain an employer please fill out the link below.

Employment Update

STEM Extension

Student who are graduating with a major in any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)  fields are eligible for the 24 month STEM extension, which grants students with an additional 24 months of post completion OPT. To begin this process students should fill out the STEM extension request form before their OPT ends.

STEM OPT Tutorial

A list of majors that fall in the category of STEM  majors can be found at the link below:



In order to determine at which point you are eligible to apply for the 24 Month STEM Extention please use the following tool from USCIS:

STEM Extension Application Window



Social Security Administration

Students (and scholars) in F-1 and J-1 status are eligible to receive an official Social Security number if they have been offered employment (on or off campus) in the United States. Any student who works on or off campus MUST obtain an official Social Security Number, since your college-assigned ID number is not acceptable for employment purposes. Please visit the Office of International Students & Scholar Services (NAC 1/107) to obtain a letter and instructions on how to obtain a Social Security Number.  Social Security numbers are issued by theSocial Security Administration(www.ssa.gov).

Download PDF: Documents and Procedures for Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

For a list of the documents that you will need, please look at the link below:


The Individual Taxpayer ID Number

An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number that IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has made available to certain individuals who are unable to get a Social Security Number. For all U.S. tax returns filed after December 31, 1996, including your ITIN on the return will ensure prompt processing and receipt of any refund. To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS Form W-7, Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, available in the International Students & Scholar Services office. IRS requires proof of nonimmigrant status and true identity for each individual applying on Form W-7. After completing Form W-7, you can mail it along with supporting documents to the Philadelphia Service Center, present it at IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through Acceptance Agents authorized by the IRS. For more information on the ITIN please check out Publication 1915, Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Last Updated: 01/02/2023 15:05