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

I. On-Campus Employment:

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

II. Off-Campus Employment:

Students are allowed to engage in work, training, or experiences that are 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. Employment categories include: Academic Training (AT), Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Severe Economic Hardship.

Academic Training (J-1 Only):

Academic Training (AT) allows a J-1 student to engage in employment, a URI internship, or co-op experience during or after a student's exchange program ends. The employment must be directly related to their field of study.

For questions and/or individual appointments concerning Academic Training, contact Melissa de Jesus:

Curricular Practical Training (F-1 only):

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) 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.  CPT MUST be an integral part of the student academic work.

For questions and/or meetings concerning Curricular Practical Training (CPT), contact Amie Limon:

Optional Practical Training (F-1 Only):

Definition of OPT

  • Temporary employment for practical training that is directly related to the student's major area of study and commensurate with the degree level
  • Allows a maximum of 12 months of practical experience
  • Students do not need to secure employment before applying for OPT
  • Requires USCIS approval
  • Student must show proof of employment and/or structure or supervised work (in the field of study) within 90 days of the beginning day listed in the Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Note: Graduate students may participate in OPT at different periods during their educational career, see below:

Conditions for OPT

  • Students may engage in OPT after being enrolled for at least one full academic year
  • OPT is available before and after completion of the educational objective, but different rules apply to pre- and post-completion OPT
  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future
  • Use of full-time CPT for one year (12 months) makes you ineligible for OPT

Pre-completion OPT

  • 20 hours/week limit while school is in session and the student still has coursework to complete
  • all graduate and undergraduate students may apply for pre-completion OPT
  • Requires an Employment Authorization Document after receiving approval from DHS

Post-completion OPT

  • An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in post-completion OPT upon completion of studies. The post-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study
  • All graduate and undergraduate students can apply for OPT after confirmation of a graduation date.
  • Requires an Employment Authorization document after receiving approval from DHS

For questions about the OPT Workshops, contact

For questions about OPT processing, comntact

Severe Economic Hardship (F-1 Only):

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

University of Rhode Island • Office of International Students & Scholars • International Center • 37 Lower College Road; Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881


International Student Orientation

Graduate Students

Date: Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Place: Multicultural Center, Harge Forum Room


Degree and Exchange International Students

Date: Friday, August 29, 2014

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Place: Multicultural Center, Harge Forum Room

Conditional Admission Degree Students: A.C.E. Language Institute and RIA ELI

Date: Friday, August 29, 2014

Time: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Place: Multicultural Center, Harge Forum Room


Reporting responsibilities of F-1 International Students while on (OPT)

FALL 2014 OPT workshop schedule: TBA

Host Family Application Download in PDF format