What are OPT & AT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Academic Training (AT) are programs for international students studying in the United States. These programs allow international students to obtain work experience in the United States to enrich their educational experience.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a program for F-1 Visa holders to work up to 12 months after graduation in the United States. The U.S. government requires an application fee and the approval process may take 90-120 days. BYU-Hawaii and the U.S. government have criteria which is used to evaluate these experiences. Students should apply no later than 60 days in advance of their graduation for an OPT. Applications received after this time may not be approved.

Academic Training (AT) is a program for J-1 Visa holders to work up to a total of 18 months in the United States, which includes work before graduation (i.e. an internship; does not include student employment at PCC or BYUH). End-of-program AT experiences are subject to the same criteria used in evaluating OPT opportunities. The U.S. government does not require a fee and the approval process typically takes a few days. Students should apply no later than 14 days in advance of completing their academic coursework for an en-of-program AT experience. Applications received after this time may not be approved.

Meet with International Student Services (ISS) to initiate the online application process. 

Go Visit International Student Services. 

Documents Required:

  • Offer letter
  • Job Description
  • Professional resume.
  • Official transcript.
  • Learning Objectives (if completing an AT) completed with department internship coordinator.

Once your documents are submitted to ISS, Career Services will review and provide feedback as part of the online vetting process.

For CPT, please see Internships & Experiential LearningA CPT is an Internship for an international student that is paid.  Internships for international students that are not-paid do not require a USCIS application.

More info

Philosophy and Criteria (PDF)
Internship-AT-CPT Learning Agreement (PDF)
I-765 Instructions_ F1 Candidates for OPT (DOCX)
J-1 Academic Training Learning Agreement_ CompletionTips (DOCX)