Student Handbook

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary work authorization in the student’s field of study for the purposes of gaining practical training. Students may be authorized for twelve months of practical training each at the completion of an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctoral degree. Students have the option of requesting OPT at the completion of the program (post-completion OPT) or prior to the completion of the degree program (pre-completion OPT). For student applying for post-completion OPT, it is recommended that students process their application before the completion of a course of study, but no earlier than 90 days before the completion of program requirements. Completion of a course of study does not mean the commencement date; this refers to the actual last date of attendance for the completion of all degree requirements. Note: Students who chose to utilize OPT prior to graduation lose time approved from their twelve months of post completion OPT. Additional information regarding OPT guidelines is available at