Employment FAQs



I am an F-1 student and want to work on campus? Is this Okay?

Yes. An F-1 student with an MTU I-20 is eligible to work on campus as soon as they start studies at MTU and enroll for a full-time course load. On-campus work is allowed for a maximum of 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. More than 20 hours per week is allowed during breaks and summer semester. Course enrollment is not required during summer semester.


I am an F-1 student. Can I work off campus during summer vacation?

Any off-campus work requires specific work authorization, even during the summer semester. Off-campus work authorizations are only issued by the USCIS based on severe financial hardship (with strong documentation of hardships) beyond the student’s control. Please check the information on "Off-campus work authorization” (PDF).


I am an F-1 student and I want to gain work experience off-campus in my major area of studies. How can I do that?

An F-1 student with good academic and visa status records are eligible for this type of work experience. Please read the information on “Curricular Practical Training” available to find out how you can gain off-campus employment experience in your major field of studies.


I am an F-1 student and will be graduating soon. How can I receive permission to work in the U.S. after graduation?

Please read the information on “Optional Practical Training” to find out what is required to apply for the post-graduation practical training.


On-campus work permission means that I can work on any campus in the U.S?

NO. On-campus work permission is limited to the campus that a student is enrolled. If the student has a Michigan Tech I-20 or DS-2019, they can be employed on only jobs that are considered and defined as “on-campus employment”.


My advisor wants me to work 25 hours/week during the fall semester so we can finish our research project. Can I do that?

NO. F-1 or J-1 students can work up to 20 hours/week during fall and spring semester. More than 20 hours work is only allowed during breaks and summer. Students must check with the International Employment Office (Human Resources) to find out the starting and ending dates of the full-time work allowed during breaks and summer.


My friend said that when I complete 9 months in F-1 status, I can apply for an off campus work permit so I can get some extra money. Is it true?

There is no blanket work permit after the completion of 9 months in F-1 status. The only option is Off-Campus Work Authorization based on severe economic hardships beyond the student’s control.


I am pursuing a degree in computer engineering and a School in Detroit has offered me a position as a Math instructor. Can I do this as "curricular practical training"?

NO. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must be in the major area of studies (in this case computer engineering).


I heard that I can have practical training following every degree I pursue in the U.S?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available at the completion of each academic program at each academic level. Students must meet eligibility criteria for the application of OPT.


As an ESL student I can get practical training. Is it true?

NO. ESL students are not eligible for any form of practical training work permission.