F-1 Status Employment

Please review the employment options and requirements below. It is important that you're aware of the information below to maintain your immigration status.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional practical training is one type of work permission available for eligible F-1 students. It allows students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study.

While a Designated School Official (DSO) recommends OPT in SEVIS, it is the student who must apply for the work permit with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If the OPT is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The student must not begin working before the start date on the EAD.

For more Information on OPT please visit the Department of Homeland Security's website "Study In The States".

OPT Workshops

All students are responsible for knowing the process of OPT independently. Missouri State is not responsible for OPT outcomes. However, International Services does play a part in your OPT process. It is strongly advised to attend an OPT workshop. Upcoming dates can be found at International Student Employment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an authorization for off-campus employment allowing an F-1 student to participate in an internship, practicum or research project in the field of study.  Depending on a student’s eligibility and academic needs, employment can be either part-time or full-time. Employment authorization is granted by International Services, in consultation with the student’s academic department. Written authorization for employment based on Curricular Practical Training must be received prior to beginning employment. Working without employment authorization is a violation of a student's visa status.

For more Information on OPT please go to Department of Homeland Security's website "Study In The States".  If you are interested in CPT, Please contact International Services.

Economic Hardship

Students who are experiencing severe economic hardship may be authorized to work off-campus. Although MSU will provide some guidance as they do play a small part in the application, it is up to the student to apply independently. They can find out more on this application process online at USCIS.