Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities for F-1 Students

Can international students work?

Yes, international students in F-1 and J-1 student status may work on campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students may work full-time during breaks and vacation periods. Various part-time jobs are available on the SUNY- Brockport campus. Check the Student Employment webpage to view and apply for jobs.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular practical training is used at Brockport to authorize internships which are a component of many of our degree programs. Limitations on use of internships vary by academic department. See an advisor in International Student Services to discuss your eligibility for CPT.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a form of off-campus employment for students prior to the completion of their degree program. Authorization is required before an F-1 student is able to participate in off-campus employment, internship, or volunteer work. Examples of such employment are: internships, practicum, field placement, Co-op, or work service experience that is integral to your curriculum.

USCIS defines employment as any type of service for which a benefit, including academic credit, is received. Therefore, even if you will not be getting paid for your internship, you still need to obtain CPT authorization.

What type of service/employment qualifies for CPT?

  • It is an internship, practicum, field placement or other type of employment/service that is required for your degree, or is a necessary component of the field of study or concentration that you have chosen within your major.
  • It is taken for academic credit toward the degree.
  • The employment/experience will be evaluated by a faculty member, will be graded and will appear on your transcript.
  • You will be registered for the appropriate course and credits in the semester during which the employment will occur.
  • Summer registration is required for summer internships.


If your academic department does not offer an internship, practicum or Co-Op, then you may not be able to pursue this type of employment. CPT is directly linked to the curriculum of your department and degree program

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is a great opportunity to gain actual employment in your current major field of study. Students are required to prepare the necessary materials prior to booking an appointment with an Advisor in the International Student Services office (ISS). The advisor will review your completed application, prepare a new I-20 to include in the application package.

Optional Practical Training is an F-1 student benefit granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows you to work off-campus in a job related to your major. It is meant to supplement your academic experience with practical experience.

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training, you must document that:

  • you are currently in valid F-1 status AND
  • you have been a full-time student for at least one full academic year (two semesters)

CPT/OPT Workshop

  • Authorized Economic Hardship - If you have been in F-1 status for a full academic year and are able to prove to CIS that there has been an unforeseeable and dramatic change in your economic circumstances, then you may qualify to apply for authorization for part-time employment off-campus. This employment is restricted to 20 hours per week while school is in session, full-time during summer or annual vacation.
  • Internship with a recognized International Organization - If you are maintaining lawful F-1 status, you may accept an internship with a “recognized” international organization, such as the United Nations or the World Bank.