Employment Overview

There are several options for students searching for employment, internship, and volunteering opportunities as an F-1 student. Please review each option to see what might be the best fit for you, and to ensure you are maintaining proper F-1 status.

On-Campus Employment

Optional Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training


Economic Hardship


On-Campus Employment

As an international student, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and 40 hours per week when school is not in session (such as during summer and winter break) at Seattle University. To find listings of on-campus jobs and volunteer opportunities, please visit Handshake. Learn more about on-campus employment HERE.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

If you have been maintaining F-1 status for at least 3 consecutive quarters, you may be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students can apply for either Pre-Completion OPT to work in a field related to their major while they are still studying, or apply for Post-Completion OPT (most common) to work in a field related to their major for 12 months after they graduate. Learn more about Optional Practical Training HERE.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

If you have been maintaining F-1 status for at least 3 consecutive quarters and your academic program has a mandatory internship component, you may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which will allow you to do a paid or unpaid internship off-campus. You must be registered for an internship credit and obtain approval from your academic department before the ISC can authorize your CPT. Read more about Curricular Practical Training HERE.


International students are allowed to volunteer off-campus in an unpaid capacity without authorization from the ISC, as long as the position is purely volunteer work. Read more about volunteering HERE.

Economic Hardship

If you suffer from unforeseen financial difficulties, due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be able to apply for work authorization based on economic hardship. In order to apply, you must provide proof that your financial sponsor has unexpectedly suffered financial difficulties. Learn more about eligibility for an Economic Hardship work authorization HERE.

Need a Social Security Number?

Read more about how to apply for a Social Security Number to complete your hiring paperwork HERE.