Career Development Opportunities - Graduate Students

Curricular Practical Training (Internship)

Most majors at SJSU offer students opportunities for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) also known as an Internship. CPT refers to work experience that is a required or optional part of your academic studies. It is work for which students receive academic credit. The work must be in their major field of study and a professor must approve the job and establish what requirements must be met for them to earn academic credit for what they learn on the job. You can find complete information regarding CPT guidelines and authorization at the International Programs and Services Office.

Optional Practical Training

Practical Training refers to work in a student's field of study, which adds practical experience to the knowledge they get in the classroom. Students may get Practical Training during their studies and after the completion of their studies. They must be full time students for one at least one academic year before they are eligible for Practical Training. Students who hold an F-1 visa may receive authorization for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training, Post-Completion Optional Practical Training, and/or the 17 Month Extension OPT which allows some students who earn degrees in certain Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields to apply for an additional 17 months of OPT. You can find complete information regarding all OPT opportunities and authorization guidelines at the International Programs and Services Office.

On Campus Work

Except for Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training, it is against the law for F-1 visa students to have jobs off campus. All F-1 students, who maintain their Visa in good standing and their SEVIS registration current, may apply for part-time work on campus in places such as the campus library, the campus dormitories, the campus cafeterias, department labs, and department offices. However, students may not work more than 20 hours a week during the semester. They may work may work full time (21 or more hours a week) only during the Spring, Summer and Winter Holidays. Complete work authorization guidelines are available at the Office of International Programs and Services.

Service Learning

Service-Learning is an opportunity for students to do volunteer community service connected to their academic studies. Service-Learning offers students the opportunity to use what they have learned in the classroom to support the work of local public agencies such as the Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley, St James Senior Center, American Red Cross, and the Special Olympics. Service-Learning gives students the opportunity to use their talents, ideas, and gifts to serve the community, and at the same time to develop their own sense of social responsibility and leadership skills.