What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work authorization available to international students who seek employment in the U.S. in their field of study. OPT allows students to work for up to 12 months in an off-campus setting to gain practical experience upon successful completion of a UCSB Professional and Continuing Education certificate program. OPT is training that is directly related to a student's major field of study and is recommended by the Immigration Advisor. However, final approval is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training, you must:

  • Be in valid F-1 status for three consecutive quarters (nine months) of full-time study.
  • Be in the U.S. at the time of your OPT application.
  • Enroll in and successfully complete one of the qualifying UCSB Professional Certificate programs.

Additional Information on OPT is available at the following: 

Please contact the Immigration Advisor at the Help Center for more information.