Employment Opportunities for International Students

On-Campus Employment

All F-1 visa holders are eligible to work on-campus at the school that issued their I-20, assuming they are enrolled and in status. Students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and may work full time (up to 40 hour a week) during break and vacation periods.

To find available job opportunities, please visit the Student Employment Office in Irvine Hall.

Please Note: international students cannot work their first semester at Marietta College.

This allows students to focus on adjustment to the academics and social life at Marietta College and within the U.S. culture. On-Campus Employment is not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to find a job and put in the hours.

A message for Marietta College Employers Regarding Social Security

Federal regulations limit non-citizens to apply for a Social Security Number only after they have been offered employment in the U.S. Those departments who plan to hire an international student for on-campus work will need to verify the employment offer.

Students must present the letter of employment to the Director of Education Abroad in Thomas 214. The Director will then review the letter and issue a subsequent letter granting permission to work in the U.S. The student must present both letters in person to the Social Security Office. (View a sample letter.) This is for on-campus work only.

Please be certain to include all required information whether you follow the sample letter or not.
The required details are:

  • full name of the student,
  • the nature of the job,
  • start date,
  • number of hours per week/the Employer ID Number,
  • employer's phone number,
  • name of student's immediate supervisor,
  • original employer signature,
  • signatory's title and the date.

Off-Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship

If on-campus employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient and an F-1 student is experiencing economic hardship "due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control," s/he may apply to the USCIS for an off-campus work permit.

This work permission is valid with any employer. A student may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during breaks and vacations.

The student must have been in lawful F-1 status for at least 9 months. CIS also requires that the student make a "good faith effort" to locate sufficient employment on campus before applying for employment based on economic hardship. An Employment Based on an Economic Hardship application is school-specific.

If you graduate, transfer to a new school, or leave your current institution, your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is void. An application for this benefit is fairly demanding. To learn more about Employment based on Economic Hardship, contact the DSO.


Internships are an opportunity for students studying in the US to develop professional skills and real-life work experience. International students are required to process their internship with the Office of Education Abroad prior to the start date of their internship.

Students with internships within the US qualify for CPT, Curricular Practical Training. This requires the student to register the internship in the Office of Education Abroad as well as in the Records Office. The on-line form for the internship registration must be completed by ALL international students BEFORE you begin working.

**Please note that internships sometimes require social security numbers. Please review the social security application process before registering your internship.

Students with internships WITHIN the United States must complete a second form, CPT registration form (insert link for form)

in the Office of Education Abroad. CPT requires your I-20 to be edited and is mandatory. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training for F-1 students is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience in situations where the work serves as an integral part of a student's academic program, prior to graduation. Students that have been in F-1 status for at least nine months may apply to participate in CPT. Part-time CPT employment is permitted until the completion of a degree with no penalties to Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Students who have received one year or more of full-time CPT are ineligible for Optional Practical Training. Curricular practical training is defined to be 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.

To learn more about CPT, contact the DSO, Christy Burke, in Thomas 214.

Please Note: You cannot begin employment Off-Campus until you have this authorization.  

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training gives international students the opportunity to gain actual employment experience in a field closely related to their academic major. Students are eligible to receive 12 months of OPT for each degree level they complete while in F-1 student status. Optional Practical Training can be completed while students are enrolled or during vacation periods, but is most often used following graduation.

The application process for post-completion OPT begins during the first part of the student's final semester on campus. The OPT process has become extremely time consuming. It is recommended that students send their completed applications to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service Center three months prior to completion of studies because it may take that long for the request to be adjudicated. Authorization to begin OPT employment does not begin until you receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Employment is allowed only within the authorization dates on the EAD card. As of April 2008, students are now only permitted to be unemployed for 90 days during the entire OPT employment period.

Students are required to update the DSO about their change of address, change of employer, begin a new education program and/or if they return home prior to the completion of employment dates.

Requirements and Limitations

  • An F-1 student is eligible for 12 months of full-time Practical Training for each degree level completed.
  • Applicants must have been a student in good standing for at least one academic year (9 months).
  • Work must be in the student's major field of study and be appropriate for someone at his/her educational level.
  • Work may be for a maximum of 20 hours while school is in session or 40 hours (full time) during break periods.
  • OPT authorized before graduation will be deducted from the 12 months allowed per degree level.
  • OPT cannot be renewed or extended beyond the 12 month allocation per degree level.
  • Once authorization has been given, it cannot be rescinded or canceled.


**Students studying in the Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics departments are eligible for a one-time 17 month STEM extension on their OPT. Students eligible for this must discuss the details with the DSO.

Effective November 23, 2010 the application fee for Form I-765 (OPT Employment Authorization) will increase to $380.00