Employment Opportunities 

International students, in good standing, are eligible for some types of employment.

Types of Employment 

While classes are in session, you may work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week in any campus job. During breaks and holidays, you may work up to a maximum of 40 hours per week.


In some cases, you may be authorized to work off-campus. You must have written authorization from USCIS prior to obtaining employment. For more information, see below.

CPT (Curricular Practical Training)
CPT is often referred to as an off-campus internship and a benefit offered to WC international students who have been in F-1 status for a minimum of 2 regular semesters. All F-1 international students must be granted employment authorization and printed a new I-20 by the Office of International Student Services prior to beginning any off-campus job. Interested students should contact the Internship Coordinator in the Center for Career Development, and then consult with the Director of International Student Services.

OPT (Optional Practical Training)
Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is an employment benefit of F-1 student status that is generally used after graduation. For more details on OPT, contact the Office of International Student Services.

  1. Employment must be related to academic area of study, and must be full-time (at least 21 hours per week).
  2. Requires prior authorization from USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Services), and you must have received your Employment Authorization Document before beginning work.
  3. Must complete Form I-765 for USCIS, and receive a new I-20 from OISS.
  4. Fee is required (Approximately $380).

Severe Economic Hardship
Benefit available to international students in F-1 status after 1 year. Employment need not be related to academic area of studies.

  1. Must be able to demonstrate financial need and a change of financial situation since initial I-20
  2. Requires notification & clearance by DSO and authorization from USCIS
  3. Must complete form I-765 for USCIS. Application requirement includes written statement by student indicating reasons for request and documents supporting those reasons (i.e. bank statements, affidavits, sponsorship letters, etc.)
  4. Fee is required ($380)

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of International Student Services, at 573-592-5182, via e-mail, or drop by the office in the Diversity Center (main floor of HAC). We're here to serve you!