Working in the United States

Working in the United States

Working in the United States

Your F-1 or J-1 student status permits you to work on campus at the university that issued your immigration document while you are enrolled in a full course of study. You must maintain your immigration status to be eligible for this employment benefit; maintaining status means that you are a full-time registered student (except for approved exceptions) in good academic standing with a valid I-20 or DS-2019. You can work 20 hours during the academic term, and 40 hours during summers and breaks between classes.

Please follow the steps required to work on campus at Millersville University. Steps to Working On-Campus webpage. 

For more information about employment options, please visit the Employment webpage

To be eligible for off campus employment, you must work with Global Education to decide what options are available to you. Usually, you have been enrolled at a college or university in the U.S. on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year.


1. WORK OFF CAMPUS unless you have the necessary written authorization from the international advisor in advance (consult the international advisor for details–for F1 or J1 students the work authorization must be written on page 2 of your I-20 or DS-2019).

2. WORK ON CAMPUS more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.

3. Take a leave of absence, withdraw from classes, or drop below the required number of credits without FIRST checking with an international advisor in the Global Education; students who terminate their program or otherwise fall out of legal status before completing do not have a grace period to leave the U.S., they must leave immediately.

For more information regarding working in the United States, visit

Failure to comply with this requirement is a violation of your F-1 status, which may result in serious consequences, including your termination in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitors Information System), inability to re-enter the U.S., and detention and deportation from the U.S.

Employment Options for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major field of study. Your major field of study is listed on your I-20. You can apply for CPT during the regular academic year (you must remain registered full-time) and during the summer vacation.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides F-1 students with an opportunity for hands-on work experience (work authorization) related to the academic field of study. OPT authorization that begins after completion of your academic program is called “post-completion” OPT. OPT used while you are still enrolled in your course of study is called "pre-completion" OPT. Students engaged in pre-completion OPT during the academic year must maintain full-time enrollment in classes. Pre-completion OPT affects your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Special Note Regarding STEM OPT:

Students in eligible STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors who are currently engaged in post-completion OPT may be eligible for a 24-month extension. Your job must be related to your STEM studies, and your employer must be enrolled in E-verify.

For more information regarding STEM OPT Eligibility, visit

Severe Economic Hardship

If you are suffering a severe economic hardship due to unforeseen changes in your financial circumstances, you may apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for authorization to work off-campus. The employment authorization is granted by USCIS in increments of one year at a time. The authorization allows you to work for any employer up to 20 hours per week while you are registered full-time. It also allows you to work more than 20 hours per week during summer and semester breaks. This employment does not affect your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Employment Options for J-1 Students

Academic Training

Academic Training is work, training or experience related to a J-1 Student’s major field of study. The work, training or experience may be paid or unpaid. Global Education authorizes Academic Training. 

To be eligible for Academic Training, you must document that you:

  • Are currently in valid J-1 student status
  • Are in good academic standing
  • Have been offered a job or experience that is directly related to your major field of study

You can participate in Academic Training during any of the situations below if you have a job offer and your Academic Training has been authorized.

  • During the semester
  • During winter break or summer vacation
  • After the completion of all required course work for the degree
  • While working on one’s thesis or equivalent
  • After the completion of one’s degree program (Note: The Academic Training must start no later than 30 days after the completion of your course of study.)