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. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Valid F-1 visa status at UCLA Extension
  • Complete nine (9) consecutive months of full-time study either at UCLA Extension, or having transferred into UCLA Extension from another SEVP-approved institution 
  • Enrolled in a certificate program that offers an internship course

Review the full Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Guidelines or speak with your International Student Services Advisor for more information.

Note: 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:

  • Be in a final quarter of your UCLA Extension Certificate Program
  • Have been in valid F-1 status for an academic year (3 consecutive quarters) at the time of your program's completion 

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 to OPT after completing your certificate program at UCLA Extension.

Your employment must be directly related to your studies. You are required to report to your ISS 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 total 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.

Learn more about our international programs.


vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning