F-1 students may work on campus part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) while school is in session, and full-time during vacation periods. Before beginning on-campus employment, you must meet with International Student Services; (Unless the University provides other stipulations on these rules). Once work authorization is given and the social security number is received the student must bring their I-20 and passport (with I-94) to International Student Services in order to file the proper paperwork. The application for a social security number is required before you can be paid for work. International students need authorization from the International Office to work off campus.

Work Authorization

Students maintaining valid F-1 status are eligible to work on campus 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. During summer and winter break, students may work on campus an unlimited amount of hours, as long as they intend to enroll for the following semester and have not completed their program.

F-1 students are NOT permitted to work off campus unless they have prior authorization from International Student Services and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. International students who have been "in status" as F-1 students for a full academic year (a fall and spring semester) or more may request permission to work off-campus and must first meet specific criteria set forth by USCIS. F-1 students should never apply for or accept any job, except those on-campus, without first talking to International Student Services to be sure they will not be in violation of immigration laws.

Students should always talk with International Student Services before pursuing employment. Regulations often change and information from friends or family may not be accurate. Immigration is increasingly strict about employment violations and there can be severe penalties for working without proper permission, including exclusion from the US for up to ten years. 

Current Student Employment

Additional resources and assistance securing on-campus and off-campus employment is available through Walsh University's Career Center, located in the Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center. 


An F-1 student may accept employment at the institution he or she is authorized to attend without prior approval from USCIS, provided the student is enrolled in a full course of study and the employment will not displace a U.S. resident. On-campus employment primarily means work performed on the school's premises. It includes employment with on-location commercial firms that provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria. It does not include employment on the school's premises for a commercial firm that is not providing on-campus services for students, for example, at a construction site for a new school building. It may also include work at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school. In the case of off-campus locations, the educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to a contractually-funded project at the post-graduate level. The employment must be an integral part of the student educational program.

On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session (fall and spring semesters), and full time per week during the summer sessions and vacation periods for students who are eligible and intend to register for the subsequent academic term. The university also reserves the right to limit those hours.

On-campus employment over the intervening summer is not permitted after completion of a course or courses of study (except employment authorized for practical training), unless the student has been issued an I-20 to begin a new program. If the new I-20 is from a different school, the student may engage in on-campus work on the campus of the new school before classes begin or on-campus at the old school until the new school's classes begin.


Curricular Practical Training is defined as "alternate work study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." [8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)]

  • For Credit CPT may be mandatory or elective. The training program must be listed in the school's catalog with the assigned number of credits and name of the faculty member teaching the course clearly defined. A student enrolled in such a course may work out the details of their specific projects within the establish course objectives under the supervision of the instructor.
  • Non-Credit CPT is usually offered in certain types of educational programs, such as hotel management, nursing, law, engineering, and teaching. A student in such a program is routinely required to undertake such non-credit internships. Students are often not remunerated for their participation in these programs. Non-credit internships or practicums that are required for graduation are recognized as Curricular Practical Training.

At Walsh University, Curricular Practical Training is arranged jointly through the Academic Department and International Student Services. For more detailed information, download the CPT application and guidelines from the file gallery to the right.


F-1 students may engage in practical training prior to completion of their course of study. Temporary employment as Optional Practical Training may be authorized under one of the following conditions:

  • During the student's annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session if the student is currently enrolled, and is eligible and intends to register for the next term.
  • While school is in session, provided that practical training does not exceed 20 hours a week.
  • After completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent), if the student is in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree program.
  • After completion of the course of study.

Optional Practical Training is limited to 12 months. Thus, if a student uses three months of such training during his/her vacation, that student will be entitled to only nine months of practical training upon completion of the course of study.

Pre-Completion OPT- Part-time optional practical training (20 hours per week or less) during the course of study shall be deducted from the twelve-month total at one-half of the full time rate. Authorization to engage in Optional Practical Training employment is terminated when the student transfers to another school.

For more detailed information about Optional Practical Training, download the OPT documents from the file gallery to the right. If you have questions about OPT after reading the OPT Packet, call the ISS at 330-490-7105 to make an appointment.

Students who have completed a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral degree program in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields may be eligible for a one-time 17-month extension of post-completion OPT. The application for the STEM extension can be filed within 90 days prior to the completion of the initial 12-month OPT.


It is possible for F-1 students to work part-time off-campus due to economic hardship. This type of employment authorization is for F-1 students who have been in F-1 status for one full academic year, are in good academic standing, and have encountered severe and documented economic hardship since arriving in the United States.

Employment authorized under this interim rule is limited to no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session and 40 hours per week during holidays or school vacation. The employment is automatically terminated whenever the student fails to maintain status. This new rule also mandates that the student make a good faith effort to pursue employment on campus.

"Severe Economic Hardship" is defined as "unforeseen economic circumstances beyond the student's control; substantial fluctuation in the value of currency or exchange rates; inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs; unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support; medical bills; or other substantial and unexpected expenses". Download the Economic Hardship Packet from the file gallery to the right for more information.