Employment Options for International Students

Academic Training

Academic Training work authorization is authorization for J-1 students. This work authorization is granted for work relating to the student's field of studey. For detailed questions, students and advisors should contact iadvisor@iupui.edu.

See Academic Training eligibility requirements»

Curricular Practical Training, CPT

CPT work authorization is granted when the F-1 student has an employment opportunity directly relating to the completion of their degree.

See CPT eligibility requirements»
Students must be registered for a course related to the employment experience, and which counts towards a degree requirement. The course may be an elective, but it must be used to reach the minimum credit hours to graduate.

Once your student requests this benefit through the iStart system, you will be sent a request for confirmation of academic necessity via email. See an example of this request.

Common CPT Questions

  • What does OIA mean by "Integral to Curriculumn" in the CPT eForm for Advisors?

    Immigration regulations require that employment be considered integral to the student’s curriculum in order to be eligible for the off-campus work authorization. The way we ensure this is by requiring the student to be registered for a course that connects to the employment experience. That course MUST be used to satisfy some type of program requirement.

    By clicking ‘Yes’ on the CPT e-form, you are attesting that the credit earned by this employment opportunity is counting towards the student’s degree. This could be in the form of a general elective credit, major/general requirement, or thesis/dissertation completion.

    If the credits earned are above and beyond the requirements for the degree, the student is likely ineligible for CPT.

  • What does OIA need if the student is completing an optional/required internship?

    We need to know what course the student will be registered for. For example, MBET 29500 HETM Internship.

  • The student is completing an internship to meet an Independent Study Course requirement. What do advisors need to give OIA?

    We need to know what course the student will earn credit for. Additionally, the course instructor will need to upload a memo explaining how the employment will fulfill the required course components. This memo should be specific and detailed. See an example of a memo that accomplishes this.

  • The employment the student is seeking will help with their Thesis/Dissertation/Project Research. What do advisors need to supply OIA?

    The student must be registered for a thesis/dissertation/project course. It is also possible to grant a student work authorization with registration for GRAD G599 (course permission granted through the Graduate School and requires student to be eligible) or other departmental equivalent. Additionally, the thesis/dissertation/project advisor will need to submit a memo detailing:

    • What are the duties of the employment?
    • What are the details of the thesis/dissertation/project?
    • How does the employment contribute materially and substantially to the research?
    • Why is the employment necessary to complete the thesis/dissertation/project.

    See an example of a memo that accomplishes what we need »

Optional Practical Training, OPT

OPT is work authorization reserved for F-1 students upon completion of their degree. In some cases students also use OPT part-time during their degree.

See eligibility requirements»

Students can apply for OPT 90 days prior to completing their program requirements through 60 days immediately following program completion.

Advisors need to complete the Verification of Pending Program Completion form (paper) so that we can determine when the student is eligible to apply for this benefit.

Common OPT Questions

  • What does OIA mean by “Completion Date” on the Verification of Pending Program Completion form?

    The immigration service considers a student to have completed their program on the last day of finals for the last semester or the thesis submission date–whichever is later. The completion date normally occurs before the graduation date. Similarly, incomplete grades are not considered part of the remaining program. This is important as it determines the student’s eligibility period to apply for this benefit.

  • On the Verification of Pending Program Completion form, what dates does OIA really need for a student on a thesis/dissertation option?

    We need to have an estimated thesis/dissertation defense and submission date. Immigration considers the final submission as the completion of program which impacts when the student is eligible to apply for OPT and begin working.

  • A student with a thesis/dissertation requirement wants me to help apply for OPT, but the student has not completed his/her dissertation yet. Can s/he still apply for post-completion OPT?

    Yes! As long as the student has completed all of their coursework, they are eligible to apply for post-completion OPT. Some students choose to do this so they only have to pay one OPT application fee. It is fine for the student to continue to work on a thesis/dissertation while on approved OPT. 

    The student should contact OIA if they are enrolled and do not want to receive the IUPUI International Student Health Insurance.

  • I am working with a student who has not completed all their coursework yet. Is there any way for this student to apply for OPT early?

    Yes! The student can apply for PRE-completion OPT. Pre-completion OPT requires many of the same pieces of documentation, but does not require the student to have finished his or her degree. The student can make an appointment with an International Advisor to find out more details.