Internationals: Ask these 3 questions before committing to an OPT job or internship

As an international student or trainee, you are probably familiar with the term OPT (Optional Practical Training). In order to use your OPT time, the opportunity must be directly related to your field of study, and answering these three questions below can guide you as you confirm that the job or internship truly fits within OPT.

  1. How do your job/internship duties require your MIT academic degree background?
  2. How are you putting into practice your degree in your CPT/OPT/STEM OPT Training?
  3. Did the employer require individuals with education in your specific degree field for the position hired? (Not one subject taken during the program, or general field area, but your specific degree field. For example, for a student with a degree in Mechanical Engineering: Why is your degree in Mechanical Engineering needed to do this training/work; and not just requiring general engineering or mathematical background?)

 

Reference: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/optDirectlyRelatedGuidance.pdf

For full information, consult the ISO Knowledge Base:

https://iso.mit.edu/knowledge-base/for-f-1-off-campus-employment-all-positions-be-directly-related-to-my-mit-degree-major-field-of-study-is-there-any-guidance-on-how-to-determine-directly-related/

As always, stay in close contact with your ISO Advisor to confirm that your job or internship lines up with the OPT guidelines.