International Student Office (ISO)
Employment employment

Employment is one of the most closely monitored activities of international students. Because two government agencies are involved (the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and the Internal Revenue Service), there is twice as much scrutiny on student records when they are employed. It is vially important  that students follow these strict guidelines.

On Campus Employment:

Employment During Regular Semesters is limited to 20 hours per week. This rule is strictly interpreted, and students who work even one hour over the 20 hour per week limit can be subject to severe government penalties.

Employment During Official School Breaks, including Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break and Summer Term, can be full time for F-1 students. Students must be aware of the official starting and ending dates of these breaks, for employment purposes.

University of Memphis International Student Office Website Section One part two

Off Campus Employment:

Off campus employment is normally not allowed. In some cases, students may qualify for an internship off campus, or they may possibly be granted an extremely rare permit for economic crisis.

Internships, practicum, co operative education programs, and other academic programs that have students working off campus for academic credit are collectively considered to be Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Students must have completed two full semesters inside the U.S. before they are eligible to pursue these programs. The only exception is for students who are in majors that require internships as a mandatory part of the degree program, for all students in that program, including U.S. citizens. Please the CPT section of this site for further details on Curricular Practical Training.

Students who have completed two semesters inside the United States and who have experienced an unforeseen economic crisis are eligible to apply for a special permit to allow off campus employment. Please check with the International Students Office for further details on this kind of extremely rare work permission. Transfer students: If you have been issued this kind of work permit from a previous school, please know that your EAD is canceled when your new program I-20 is produced.

Once a student has completed coursework, they may become eligible for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).  This 12 month work card does not require course enrollment, making it significantly different from CPT.  Please plan to apply for OPT early - processing times can range from 55 up to 100 days.  Please see the section on OPT for further details.

Featured Links

Insurance FAQs

Housing Information

Social Security Information

Student Organization Links

Websites of Interest


Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 10/3/12