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Scenes from the College of Arts and Sciences


There are two major categories of employment students can have while they are studying at URI: on campus and off-campus.

On Campus Employment:

F-1/J-1 students can work on campus for 20 hours a week when the university of in session and 40 hours during vacation or semester break periods.

Off-campus Employment:

Students are allowed to engage in work, training or experience that is directly related to their field of study. Employment may be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, before or after completing the course of study. It includes Curricular Practical Training/CPT, Optional Practical Training/OPT, and Academic Training/AT.

Definition of Curricular Practical Training (F-1 only):

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an integral part of an established curriculum. It allows a lawful F-1 student to engage in “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education or any other type of required internship or practicum experience in their field of study.” A student may choose to receive wages or academic credit for this experience.

Definition of Optional Practical Training (F-1 Only):

Optional Practical Training (OPT), allows F-1 students to gain a maximum of 12 months of practical experience directly related to their field of study. It is off-campus employment. Students require permission from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly known as INS).

Definition of Economic Hardship (F-1 Only):

Only students whose financial situation has changed unexpectedly and/or beyond their control may apply for Economic Hardship.

Definition of Academic Training (J-1 Only):

Academic training (AT) allows a J-1 student to engage in employment or a URI internship or co-op experience during or after a student’s exchange program ends. The employment must be directly related to the field studied.