Please note International Students cannot work on or off campus without prior approval.
CPT is a benefit of your F-1 status that allows students to work off-campus in a position
related to their major while enrolled in a Work Experience Education course.
Students must maintain F-1 student status for a full academic year (2 semesters) prior to participating in CPT.
Students must be maintaining status (enrolled in 12 units per semester (unless otherwise authorized) and maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA)
Students must be offered a job directly related to their major and be approved by the Work Experience Education program
Students must enroll in a WRKX 170/180 or a major-specific work experience course. Please review the course descriptions.
Students must get CPT approval before each semester that they plan to work by presenting an official job offer letter to a Designated School Official (DSO)/ISO advisor before beginning any work. The letter must be on company letterhead and indicate the number of hours per week you will work while school is in session.
If approved for Curricular Practical Training, student’s I-20 is updated with work authorization by DSO (ISO advisor).
WRKX classes are repeatable up to 4 times.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is one type of work permission available for eligible F-1 students. There are two types of OPT: Pre-Completion OPT and Post-Completion OPT. OPT must be recommended by a Diablo Valley College DSO at the International Student Office (ISO) and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS work authorization is issued in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) commonly referred to as an EAD card.
Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study prior to completing your studies. You may request up to 12 months of pre-completion OPT at a time, and up to 24 months total. Be advised that any time used on Pre-Completion OPT will take away from the time you can use for post completion OPT at half the rate.
In order to be eligible to apply for Pre-Completion OPT, you must meet all of the following requirements:
Please submit the Pre-Completion OPT request form to begin the process.
When to Apply for Pre-Completion OPT
If you are completing your first academic year of study, you may submit your OPT application 90 days prior to the date you will complete your first year of study provided that the employment will not begin until after an entire year of study has been completed.
If you have completed one full year of study, you may submit your OPT application as early as 90 days prior to the work authorization start date you requested.
Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study after completing their program. In order to be eligible to apply for Post-Completion OPT, you must meet all of the following requirements:
Please submit the Post-Completion OPT request form to begin the process.
When to Apply for Post- Completion OPT
Work authorization for OPT must be obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so please plan ahead to ensure a timely receipt of your application. If your application is received by USCIS more than 60 days after your program completion date, you will not be eligible for OPT. Once your I-20 is created for OPT, it will need to be received within 30 days by USCIS.
You may submit your application for OPT as early as 90 days prior to your program end date (e.g. if your graduation date is May 15 you may apply for your OPT as early as February 15) or received by USCIS within 60 days after your program end date. You should plan to apply for OPT no later than 30 days after your program end date to allow for unexpected circumstances. Please be aware that your Form I-765 application and supporting documents must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the date your International advisor requests your OPT in SEVIS by creating your new OPT I-20.