Full-Time Course of Study (F-1 visa students)
In order to maintain your F-1 status, students must register for 12 graduate credit hours every Fall and Spring. Further details, including limited exceptions, can be found on the International Student and Scholar Services “Full Course of Study” page.
Online Course Limits (F-1 students)
You may count only one online course towards your full-time of study (12 graduate credit hours) in Fall and Spring. Further details can be found on the International Student and Scholar Services “Full Course of Study” page.
Employment off-campus (F-1 students)
F-1 students who have completed one full academic year (both Fall and Spring) of full time study immediately prior to the semester of their requested work are authorized and eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students who receive part-time work offers from employers at the University of Illinois are not required to use CPT. Please consult the International Student and Scholar Services “Employment” section for further details.
F-1 post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F- students to be employed in the United States one year after completion of studies. Graduate students may apply for OPT after finishing all coursework but prior to thesis deposit and/or defense. Employment must be directly related to field of study and correspond with education level. No job offer is needed to apply. However, OPT applicants are only allowed a total of 90 days unemployment during their initial 12-month OPT period.
The MAAE is a STEM-designated program, which allows students to file for an additional 24 months of OPT.
Questions regarding your status should be directed to the International Student and Scholar Services office.