On Campus Employment

All F-1 students are eligible to begin on-campus work no earlier than 30 days before their start date on their I-20 and must end before or on the end date of their I-20 and can only apply for on campus jobs. Check out the Career Connections Link here.

On-campus employment by F-1 students is permitted as long as the student works no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. Students may be employed full-time during vacations and recess periods as long as they intend to register for the next term.

On-campus employment means employment performed on the premises of the school or at an affiliated off-campus location. On-campus employment may be of a type normally performed by students, such as, work in the school library, cafeterias, computer center, or in a students' store, or employment that is part of a student's scholarship, fellowship or assistantship. Students are advised to talk with the ISA prior to taking any job at an affiliated off-campus location.

1) Off-campus Employment-Based On Severe Economic Hardship

Eligibility Requirements

  • Have maintained valid F-1 visa status for at least one academic year (9-months).
  • In good standing as a student and carrying a full course ( 12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduates) of study during the academic year.
  • Able to demonstrate and document unforeseen severe economic hardship and lack of available on-campus employment.

Possible Circumstances That Can Cause Severe Economic Hardship

  • Loss of financial assistance or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student.
  • The value of currency from the student's country dramatically decreased.
  • Inordinate increases in-state tuition and/or living costs.
  • Unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support.
  • Incurring large medical expenses.

Applications are submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for final decision and no work may be performed until the student is granted an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Students should talk with the ISA if the need for such employment arises.

Cooperative education and internship programs allow students to obtain practical work experience in their field of study. In order for F-1 students to participate in off-campus work experience, immigration regulations require that students receive academic credits for the work experience unless it is a required component of their degree program. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) refer to this kind of off-campus work experience as Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

2) Curricular Practical Training (Internship)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Undergraduate students must have completed nine months in F-1 visa status.
  • Graduate students can begin if their program requires CPT
  • Students must be in legal F-1 visa status, in good academic standing and making normal, satisfactory progress toward completion of their degree.
  • The type of employment must be directly related to a student's major and an integral part of an established curriculum. If the internship is not required for graduation, then the student must register and pay for credits

General Information

  • CPT can be full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours per week).
  • The International Student Advisor approves CPT and approval must be provided before work was to begin.
  • Students must apply at least two weeks prior to the start of the internship.
  • If the student participates in 12 months or more of full-time CPT, he/she loses the ability to participate in Optional Practical Training.

3) Optional Practical Training

Pre-Completion Practical Training

Pre-completion practical training is permitted for F-1 students as long as the work is for no more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.

Full-time employment under this category is allowed during vacations and recess periods as long as the student intends to register for the next term. Time spent in pre-completion practical training will be deducted from the 12 months full-time employment available for post-completion practical training. For example, if the student works 20 hours a week for 4 months, he/she would have two months deducted from the 12 months post-completion practical training.

Applications are submitted to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the final decision.

Post - Completion Practical Training

F-1 students are entitled to up to one-year post-completion practical training for each successive and higher degree. Time spent in pre-completion practical training is deducted from the 12-month period.

Students must apply 90 days before completion of the degree.

Applications are submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the final decision.

Pick up a checklist of needed items to process the OPT and schedule appointment with the ISA to complete the application. Students who wish to apply for OPT must now pay to ship their OPT applications. UEMS (also known as eShip Global) offers discounted rates to ship your OPT application to USCIS by FedEx, UPS, or USPS.


How To Mail In Your OPT Application Using eShipGlobal:
1. Register for an account here or login with your Email and Password
2. Click the OPT Application icon and confirm the Senders and appropriate Receivers address.
3. Enter Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
4. Select preferred method of delivery and click Continue
5. Select method of payment (ex. Credit/Debit Card or PayPal), enter payment information, click Confirm Payment
6. You have successfully created an order.
7. Schedule a pickup to your home by clicking Schedule Pickup and confirming your pickup address or drop off the package at the nearest carrier location.
8. Once your package has been picked up, you can track it through your eShipGlobal account and mobile app.

Please contact eShipGlobal Customer Support directly regarding any and all questions, or for any assistance required. eShipGlobal’s Support Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST) via email, phone, or live chat.
o Email: studentsupport@eshipglobal.com
o Phone: 800-816-1615 or 972-518-1775 (for US or Canadian callers); 001-972-518-1775 (for International callers)
o or Chat online with a live representative
You may also refer to eShipGlobal’s FAQ page for “Frequently Asked Questions” and answers.