Employment, CPT, and OPT

Employment, CPT, and OPT

F-1 students are eligible for certain types of employment both on- and off-campus. Please refer to the links to the left for guidance in how to legally pursue employment in the U.S. while in F-1 status.

Do not engage in any kind of employment until you are certain that you have the proper authorization from a DSO at the Buckman Center.

On-Campus Employment

Students can work on-campus in a wide variety of positions. Get started by contacting the Student Employment department (finaid@rhodes.edu). If Student Employment doesn't have any positions available, some departments may have their own jobs, such as tutoring in Modern Languages. The Student Employment office can help you find the departments who are hiring. There's no guarantee that everyone who wants a job on campus will be able to find one; sometimes there are more students seeking work than there are jobs available.

Off-Campus Employment:

F-1 students can work off-campus with prior authorization from a Rhodes DSO (Designated School Official) in the Buckman Center. The federal regulations controlling CPT and OPT are highly specific and must be adhered to, or the student will fall out of valid F-1 status, which is a violation of their visa. The DSOs at Rhodes are trained and skilled in both the federal regulations and the policies at Rhodes, so F-1 students should always (ALWAYS) speak with a DSO at the Buckman Center for instructions BEFORE applying for any kind of off-campus employment or internship, whether paid or unpaid.

  • CPT (Curricular Practical Training) Curricular Practical Training can either satisfy a major-specific academic internship (unpaid only) or a major-specific F11 experience (paid or unpaid). Follow the link for CPT for more background information, application instructions, and application packet.
  • OPT (Optional Practical Training) Rhodes students typically choose to complete a year of major-specific Optional Practical Training (paid or unpaid) following graduation (this is called 'Post Completion OPT"). OPT permits students to work in the US, earning money, in positions directly related to their majors so as to gain real-world training on the topics they've learned in their majors. Follow the link for OPT for more background information, application instructions, and application packet.
  • OPT STEM Extension Students who are on Post Completion OPT and who majored in specific STEM fields at Rhodes are eligible for a two-year extension to their OPT term, for a total of three years on OPT. The STEM majors which are eligible for this at Rhodes are listed below (as of 2022). Follow the link for OPT STEM Extension for more background information, application instructions, and application packet.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT INSURANCE FOR OPT STUDENTS: Students who are on OPT or OPT Stem Extension after graduation may purchase an individual health/accident insurance policy for themselves. This policy is with the same company all international students have at Rhodes. Students only have a limited time period to enroll in this insurance after graduation: May 31 - August 1. Here's the link to purchase an insurance plan - click "OPT Enrollment."

Social Security Number