Optional Practical Training

Practical experience related to your major before or after graduation for F-1 students.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization granted by the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). It enables F-1 status students to gain work experience in their field of study at their degree level.


  • You must have valid F-1 status
  • You must have been enrolled full-time at Beloit College for at least the last academic year
  • You must be in good academic standing

Authorization Types

  • Pre-Completion OPT
    • During summer vacation (full time)
    • While school is in session (part time only)
  • Standard Post-Completion OPT
    • Immediately following graduation
  • 24-Month STEM Extension
    • For students with qualifying STEM majors
    • Must be previously approved for standard post-completion OPT
    • Must have employment that meets requirements for STEM authorization

Length of Authorization

  • 12 months of OPT authorization per degree level
  • STEM Extension is 24 months

Employment Requirements

  • OPT employment must be directly related to the major listed on your I-20 form.
  • Students on standard post-completion OPT must be employed at least 20 hours per week. You may be unemployed a maximum of 90 days out of the 12 months.

Reporting Requirements

  • Students authorized for OPT must report all changes to employment to the International Student Advisor within 10 days of the change.
  • Do this by completing the OPT Reporting Form or by logging in to your SEVP Portal Account. 

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