What is STEM Extension OPT?

The STEM extension is a 24-month extension to Post-Completion OPT. F-1 students who graduated with a major in certain science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields and are on post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension if they meet all the eligibility requirements.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an F-1 status benefit designed to support academic programs that require practical experience for credit and degree completion.

Obvious examples are programs in nursing or teaching, which require a practicum placement for the completion of a particular course and/or the degree. Amherst College does not confer academic credit for internships, and is thus unable to authorize CPT in most circumstances.

The criteria for an internship to qualify as CPT include:

Off-Campus Employment

Interested in off-campus work options? Please remember that any type of off-campus work as an F-1 or J-1 international student requires prior government authorization.

Learn more about the different types of off-campus work authorization by exploring these pages. When in doubt, consult with the Center for International Student Engagement (CISE) by visiting us during advising hours or emailing us

What is Post-Completion OPT?

Post-Completion OPT is Optional Practical Training (OPT) that you use to work after graduating from Amherst College.

Remember, OPT is authorization for employment that is directly related to your major field of study and is only for students in F-1 status.

On-Campus Employment Letter Request

Please complete this form if you have been offered on-campus employment and will be applying for a Social Security Number (SSN).

It is very important that the information below be accurate in order to support your social security application and facilitate the issuance of a social security number. 

Once the webform information has been completed, please allow one week for processing. The Center for International Student Engagement (CISE) will contact your employer and, together, an On-Campus Employment Confirmation Letter will be issued for you. This letter is required in order to apply for an SSN. You will be notified when the documentation is available for pick up at the Center for International Student Engagement.

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