Chatham University

International Affairs

Optional Practical Information

Optional Practical Training – It is off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one year. Almost all students save their OPT time to use after graduation. Students receive 12 months of OPT at each level of education – Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. Authorization is granted by USCIS. Information sessions are held at the beginning of each semester.

Workshops on OPT are held during the semester.

Procedures for applying for OPT at Chatham.

  1. Attend OPT workshop or watch OPT workshop online (you must attend workshop or watch video online before you can make an appointment)
  2. Complete OPT advising request sheet.
  3. Make appointment with Office of International Affairs and review the OPT application package
  4. Download required forms : I–765, I–538
  5. Bring completed items to OPT appointment (including graduation verification form)
  6. After appointment, mail off OPT package. Check to be sure you have include all items on the mailing checklist. (package needs to be received within 30 days of OPT I-20 processing date)

Please contact the Office of International Affairs at with questions about being at Chatham as an international student.