Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training


Pre-Completion Practical Training may be authorized under any of the following circumstances:

  1. During annual vacation as long as the student intends to register for the academic session. Full-time Pre-Completion OPT during the summer quarter can be authorized as early as a day after the final exam date of Spring quarter and no later than a day before the start date of Fall quarter.
  2. While school is in session, provided that the total on and off-campus work does not exceed 20 hours per week; (students on a '50% RA/TA-ship' are already considered to be working 20 hours per week.)
  3. Ph.D. students who have completed their coursework (except for thesis) are eligible for full-time employment during the academic term. These students (also known as TGR students) are eligible to work full-time but are required to enroll in course 801/802.
  • NOTE: Student may not have a 50% RA or TAship and also work full-time off-campus during the academic year.


  • Your pre-completion practical training is approved until the date you provide for your graduation. If you later decide to graduate earlier than this date, your pre-completion practical training automatically ends on this earlier graduation date.
  • Any employment requested prior to graduation cannot continue after completion of studies, even if it appears that the student has a valid EAD. Employment which continues after completion of studies must be based on post-completion OPT. However, you should NOT apply for post-OPT with dates that overlap with pre-OPT as your application will be denied.
  • It is your responsibility to inform the Bechtel International Center that you intend to graduate earlier than originally stated and you should do this in plenty of time to then apply for post-completion practical training. Submitting the form to graduate is NOT sufficient. You must inform the I-Center student advisors directly of your change in plans by sending email to

Please note: Students on fellowships and assistantships may not qualify for OPT.

NOTE: Submit the on-line application in Axess NO earlier than 100 days before your employment start date. For OPT employment prior to graduation, you may not submit your application to the USCIS earlier than 90 days prior to your start date of employment. The USCIS must also receive your application within 30 days of the date on the new OPT-endorsed I-20.

Information and application instructions can be found on the following pages:

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