Training/Employment Opportunities

All international students must receive approval prior to beginning any employment or volunteer work whether or not they are being compensated. The University does not have any on-campus employment but in certain situations students may qualify for off-campus employment who have an economic hardship that qualifies them for the Department of Homeland Security's emergent circumstances.

Students without approval for any type of employment would be considered in violation of their F-1 status because it is illegal to work without authorization. A DSO must report to SEVIS if they find that any student is working without approval. A student may face a loss of legal immigration status in the U.S., possible deportation, and/or an impact on their future visa applications. To maintain an active F-1 status, students must receive work authorization in order to work in the U.S.

Internship Requirement

As required of USU's MBA and DBA programs, students must participate in an off-campus internship using Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students are encouraged to seek out their own opportunities, however, 12twenty is provided as a free resource that can assist you in finding sponsored employment opportunities.

Here's how you can get started with 12twenty:

  • Navigate to
  • Log in using your USU email and password
  • Build your student/alumni profile to include all career-related information

To view employment opportunities:

  • Navigate to the "Job Listings" tab
  • Add a new filter and select "Work Authorization Requirement"
  • Choose "All Work Authorization Accepted" to view only the current opportunities accepting all work authorization types
  • Should you have difficulties accessing 12twenty, view the detailed student start-guide or contact Career Services.

Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is defined as employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum, including: "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" Source: [CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)]. CPT is available only prior to the completion of a degree program and a student must have a job offer at the time of application. CPT employment may not delay completion of the academic program.

CPT is authorized for one (1) semester at a time and students must apply for CPT no later than two (2) weeks prior to the session in which they intend to participate. Students must reapply for each semester for which they wish to attend. A student's education is a priority, therefore, if a student fails a course(s) or does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress may not be allowed to continue with future CPT.

For more information about eligibility for CPT please contact the DSO.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is 12-month work authorization available to F-1 students who are seeking employment opportunities in their fields of study. This training opportunity gives students the ability to gain practical training in their filed of study. This work authorization gives students the ability to work off-campus and can be extended during or after completion of their program: Pre- or Post-Completion OPT.

Pre-Completion OPT: A portion of OPT used before a student completes their program of study. OPT may be part-time or full-time.

Post-Completion OPT: Must be at least 20 hours per week or full-time. OPT that is recommended after the student's completion of their program of study.

F-1 students at United States University must be in full-time status for at least one academic year to be eligible for OPT. Students must be seeking employment in the major field of study listed on their current Form I-20 and be completing their program of study at United States University. F-1 students must be physically present in the United States at the time of application to USCIS and not have used more than 1 year of full-time CPT during their current degree-level (part-time does not count). Because OPT is based on your completion date, you do not have to be employed at the time of application. 

A DSO only recommends OPT in SEVIS, but it is the responsibility of the student to apply for the work permit with USCIS. Only if the OPT is approved by USCIS can a student begin work once they receive their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Detailed information and instructions can be found in the USU OPT application. 

Students on OPT must continue to report any changes to name or address, or interruption of such employment during approved OPT within 10 days of the change to their DSO including DHS. A DSO may be required to update the students SEVIS record to reflect reported changes for the duration of the time authorized for training.

NOTE: Currently USU's MBA and DBA programs do not qualify for 24-month STEP OPT extension.

SEVP Student Portal

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal is an important tool that lets students on post-completion OPT meet their legal reporting obligations. Students are responsible for reporting any changes to their address and phone number, including employment information.

Student may be able to (1) update their physical home address, (2) update their mailing addresses, (3) update their telephone number, (4) update employer's information, (5) monitor their employment authorization, and (6) reset their own password, if they have forgotten their password or been locked out of their portal account because of multiple attempts.

A DSO cannot access the portal, however, we may still be able to assist a student with the following: (1) request that the initial portal account creation email be re-sent, (2) unlock a student's portal account, (3) change the student's email which the portal uses for account management, (4) update the student's address, phone number, and employment information, (5) access a downloadable report to see what data was changed by students using the portal, (6) identify the students with portal accounts, and (7) reset passwords.


On and Off-Campus Employment

USU currently does not offer on-campus employment opportunities. However, off-campus employment may be available for students who have severe economic hardship as defined by USCIS on a part-time basis. A student must have been enrolled under an F-1 status for one (1) full academic year and in good academic standing before a DSO can recommend the off-campus employment.

An eligible F-1 student may request for off-campus employment work authorization based on the severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control. Such examples of circumstances would include substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living expenses, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.

Students will be required to demonstrate that employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to the unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. The applicant will need to also submit the economic hardship application for employment authorization (Form I-765) with the fee required and any other supporting documentation.

At this time, United States University does not guarantee employment post-graduation. However, Career Services provides numerous resources, employment, and recruiter connections, and rotating virtual workshops to all students and alumni for free. You are encouraged to connect with Career Services and utilize the available resources throughout the duration of your program to ensure you feel confident and prepared for the next steps post-graduation.