Training and internship opportunities
As an F-1 international student you are prohibited from working off-campus. However, opportunities exist for on-the-job training both during and after your certificate program.
Paid Internship: Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an off-campus work permit allowing an F-1 student to participate in a paid internship. The internship allows you to gain valuable work experience in your field of study while you earn academic credit and advance toward program completion.
- Valid F-1 visa status at UCLA Extension
- Complete nine (9) consecutive months of full-time study
- Enrolled in a certificate program that offers an internship course
Review the full Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Guidelines or speak with your F-1 advisor for more information.
Internships must be done within the time frame of your certificate program. You cannot enroll in an internship, either paid or unpaid, after all your courses for the certificate program are completed. If you have completed the last course in your program, you may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows you to work in the United States and earn money in an occupation directly related to your area of study for one year following graduation.
If approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). This enables you to work for up to one year in the U.S. in a job that is directly related to your field of study.
To be eligible to apply for OPT you need to:
- Complete a certificate program that qualifies for F-1 status
- Maintain valid F-1 status for a minimum of three quarters at the time of completing the program
If you have already done one year of OPT after completing a certificate program or degree at another school or if you have been approved for 12 months of full-time CPT, you are not eligible to apply for OPT after completing the certificate program at UCLA Extension.
Your employment must be directly related to your studies. You are required to report to your ISO advisor as soon as you receive a job offer. You will need to send the name of your employer and a description of your job that describes how the job is related to your studies.
You have 90 days during your year of OPT in which you can be unemployed. If you are not able to find employment within the 90 day time frame, you must take steps to maintain your status. You may either return to your home country, or you can apply to another certificate program or another school.