International Student Employment

At St. Thomas Aquinas College, we're focused on assisting our international students in gaining employment during their time here and after graduation.

on-campus employment

International F-1 students are permitted to work on campus part-time (fewer than 20 hours per week). You may begin seeking employment 2 weeks after the semester start date. Once you have applied for and accepted a position on campus, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. This will be used to file your yearly income tax report. Please see your International Counselor for assistance with applying for Social Security.

Human Resources - Student Employment Information

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is employment directly related to the student’s field of study.  It must be an integral part of the curriculum. It can be a paid or unpaid internship, practicum, or other type of employment arranged with the approval of the student’s department. It may take place during the academic year and/or the summer.  CPT may be required or recommended.

What do I need to apply?

  • Curricular Practical Training Form
  • Academic Advisor Recommendation Form
  • Letter from Employer
    • Give the starting and ending date of the position
    • Give the number of hours to be worked each week
    • Include a brief description of job duties

Example of Letter from Employer 
To Whom It May Concern:
(Student's Name) has been offered the position of (name of position). This position begins on (start date) and ends on (end date). The position will be for (number of hours) each week. The duties of this position will include: (brief description of duties)
Name of employer

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a paid employment directly related to your major area of study. Students in F-1 status must have been lawfully enrolled in school on a full time basis for at least one full academic year to be eligible for OPT. It is limited to a total of 12 months. A student becomes eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he/she changes to a higher educational level. F-1 students may be authorized to participate in OPT prior to completion of studies. However the post-completion OPT period must be reduced if students have been previously authorized to work part-time in OPT or if students have spent more than one year in full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Note that part-time OPT is calculated at a rate of one half of full-time OPT. A student must apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training during their final semester of course requirements. To apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training, the student must submit to the Designated School Official (DSO) required paperwork and forms (see Application for OPT).

What do I need to apply?

  • Optional Practical Training Form
  • Completed academic advisor recommendation form
  • Complete form I-765.  Sign your name with a BLUE ink pen

You may use the admissions office address for delivery of the EAD card or you may use a residential address (you can use your own or a friend/family member who can send the EAD card to you when it arrives. Be sure to include the following:

  • $340.00 check or money order made payable to US Citizenship and Immigration Services or Department of Homeland Security.
  • Photocopy of most recent I-94 (both sides) and visa
  • Photocopy of the identity pages of your passport, which includes your picture.
  • A copy of any previous EAD Card (both sides) if applicable
  • 2 Photos with a white background
  • Photocopy (not original) of your SEVIS I-20 for OPT, pages 1 and 3, after it is endorsed by the Office of Admissions.
  • Photocopies of all other previous I-20s issued to you by St. Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Photocopies of all I-20s issued to you by any other U.S. school you attended
  • The cover sheet from international advisor to USCIS