International students are permitted to work in the United States, though firm immigration regulations apply to all employment options. Any unauthorized employment violates your legal status and compromises your ability to remain in or return to the United States. For more information about employment regulations, visit International Student Services and attend an Employment Options workshop.
You are automatically eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters. You are eligible to work full-time on campus during vacation periods and during the summer. On campus work does not have to be related to your major.
Available after one academic year of enrollment at Davidson.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization available to F-1 students for work experience that is considered an integral part of a student's curriculum or academic program. CPT can only be authorized before graduation and is generally used for summer research or internships. Steps for gaining CPT authorization include:
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an employment authorization most students use to gain work experience in their field of study after graduation. OPT is granted for a duration of 12 months (extensions are available in certain cases) per educational level. Steps for gaining OPT authorization include:
For more information about OPT, visit International Student Services and attend an OPT workshop.
If something severe and unforeseen happens to your financial situation, you may apply for a Severe Economic Hardship (SEH) work permit. Employment on SHE does not have to be related to your major. Steps for gaining SEH authorization include:
Special work permits are also available for F-1 students offered employment with certain international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, etc. Learn more about the application process for this work permit.