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Information for International Students

Working as an International Student

On-campus Jobs: As an International Student with an F-1 Visa, you may work up to 20 hours per week during the semester at an on-campus part time job or graduate assistantship, starting the first day of your first enrolled semester at the University of Maryland. You do not need to meet with an engineering career advisor nor do you need access to Careers4Engineers/ Careers4Terps to apply to most on-campus jobs. 

  • For graduate assistant listings, see These may be 9 or 12 month positions.
  • Our Campus Jobs page provides tips and links for finding part-time hourly work on campus. Please refrain from simply visiting offices to ask for a job.

Off-campus Work: There are strict rules governing the approval of off- campus work for students on F-1 visas. You may be eligible to apply for a type of work authorization called Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows you to participate in an internship that is directly related to your current program of study.  ISSS' webpage on F-1 Employment provides detailed requirements for CPT. To be eligible for CPT, you must have maintained F-1 status for at least two semesters and be in good academic standing.

Looking for an Internship or Entry Level Position

  1. Your first step is to activate your Careers4Engineers/ Careers4Terps account in Engineering Co-op & Career Services. Before we can activate your account, you must first attend both the Job Search Tips for International Students and Resume Writing workshops, which are offered multiple times at the beginning of the semester.
  2. Start your internship search about 6-9 months before you plan to start your internship. Be sure to review our policies on Careers4Engineers Accuracy, Job Posting Frauds and Scams, Campus Interviews, and Accepting a Job Offer
  3. To prepare for your job search and applications, attend career workshops on Career Fair Preparation, Cover Letters and Professional Correspondence, Interviewing, and Evaluating Job Offers and Salary Negotiation. 
  4. Ask questions before you say yes to a position! Once you accept a position, you are obligated to that employer and you should stop seeking other positions for that term. Know that reneging on an offer can have serious consequences for your own professional reputation as well as for other Maryland students. See our Policies page for more specific information.

Enrolling in ENCO099/098 for CPT

Before you accept an internship offer, see ISSS’s website on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for information on eligibility, limitations, procedures and deadlines. Important notes: 

  • ISSS is only able to process CPT work authorization once per student per term (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).
  • It is not possible to enroll in ENCO or request CPT work authorization for an internship that starts after mid-term grades have been posted.
  • PhD students: If you have already completed your required coursework, you may not be eligible to enroll in ENCO099/098 for the academic component of your CPT.

Once you accept an internship offer, if you wish to enroll in ENCO099/098: Co-op/Intern Work Experience as the academic component for CPT, there are a few steps you must follow before you can go to ISSS to request work authorization.

  1. Request an employment offer letter on company letterhead from your internship supervisor. The letter must include ALL of the information indicated on the ISSS CPT Self-Checklist. See a sample offer letter for a student requesting CPT.
  2. Complete the Student Learning Plan for CPT.
    • Fill in the sections About You and About the Internship, and then have the form signed by your internship supervisor.
    • Complete the Learning Goals section before you meet with a Career Services staff member.
  3. Bring the following printed documents to Engineering Career Services in 1131 Martin Hall. You may walk in between 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. Monday- Thursday, or make an appointment with an advisor.
  4. Once the Career Services advisor has given you the electronic permission stamp, you will be able to register for the 0 credit co-op class (ENCO099/ ENCO098).


Working in the US After Graduation

You may be eligible to work in your major field after you graduate under Optional Practical Training (OPT). See ISSS's website on OPT for eligibility and application requirements. You should plan to attend an OPT workshop sponsored by ISSS before your last semester of study at Maryland. While our office is not involved in the authorization of OPT, you are encouraged to use our services and attend relevant workshops as you prepare for your transition to full time work.

Work Visas, OPT & Green Cards: What You Should Know to Find a Job [WORKSHOP VIDEO] - Confused about options for staying and working in the United States after graduation? Worried about the H1B quota? The School of Engineering sponsored a seminar, presented by an experienced immigration attorney, discussing US work visa options and permanent resident green card options. The video link includes a detailed discussion of the H1B visa, pursuing permanent residence through employment, practical strategies for talking to employers about work visa issues during interviews, and much more.

Job Search Resources for International Students