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Employment, Internships & Research

As a benefit of your F-1 visa status, you have the opportunity to work up to 20 hours/week on campus.  Once you have completed one year of study you are also eligible to apply for authorization to work off-campus.

  • Do not work without authorization!  Even in an unpaid position, unauthorized employment is a violation of your visa status and puts you at risk to be deported!
  • Before beginning ANY job search, be sure to schedule an appointment to discuss your plans with Tina Chen. 
  • You must apply for and present a U.S. Social Security number and complete all documentation in Human Resources before you may begin working in any position.
  • As a requirement of your F-1 visa, you must file appropriate tax forms every year.    

Working on Campus

First-year students are only allowed to work for Dining Services and must take the following steps:

  1. Attend the campus employment information session during Fall Gateways.  DO NOT sign up for any shifts; you have not yet been hired!

  2. Contact Ms. Margaret Rollo, Asst. Director of Employment & Training, Kimball 106, to inquire about employment and be sure to identify yourself as an international student.  If she is able to hire you, she will provide you with a formal employment letter.

  3. If you are hired, contact Ms. Lynn Levesque ( to request a meeting with Dean Tina after Sept. 11, 2019.  She will help you apply for a U.S. Social Security Number.  Bring the employment letter with you.

  4. After receiving your Social Security card, see Ms. Melanie Hain, Records Coordinator for Student Employment, O'Kane 72,  to complete the required documentation and payroll forms.

  5. You may begin work only after all the above steps have been completed. 

Upper-class students may be employed on campus in any department or office.  If you have NEVER worked on campus before you must follow these steps:

  1. Obtain an letter of employment from the manager of the department/office or in the Weiss Summer Research Program.  You may download a sample letter to show your employer.  

  2. Follow steps 3-5, above.  (Students who have worked on campus and completed steps 2-5 are all set.)

The Weiss Summer Research Program (which does not require CPT) is an excellent opportunity to work on campus assisting a Holy Cross faculty member in a research project.  Participating faculty come from a wide range of academic departments, including the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.  Applications are due in February each year.

Working Off-Campus Prior to Graduation

The only way to work off campus before your graduate is to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  CPT provides opportunities for experiential learning during the academic year and the summer that are directly related to your major.  If you are considering an internship or research position, please contact Ms. Lynn Levesque for an appointment to discuss the CPT application with Tina Chen.

There are three critical rules about CPT that you must follow: 

  1. Before you can apply for CPT you must already have secured an internship/research position.

  2. You are required  to earn credit for your internship/research position.  

  3. The internship/research must be directly related to your major.  (Minors, concentrations, and some multidisciplinary majors may not be used for CPT.)

To learn more about internship opportunities (e.g., Academic Internship Program, New York Semester, Washington Semester), visit the  J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World.   For resources on summer internships, visit the Center for Career Development, Hogan 203. To explore on-campus research, visit the Weiss Summer Research Program (which does NOT require CPT).

When you are ready, download and complete the on-line CPT application.  If your internship is PAID, you must have a social security number or apply for one within 30 days of your internship start date.

Not sure whether you need CPT?  Make an appointment to see Tina Chen and consult this quick reference.

Working in the U.S.A. After Your Holy Cross Graduation

Seniors who would like to work in the U.S. for one year following graduation should contact Ms. Lynn Levesque to request an appointment with Tina Chen not later than February of senior year.

Eligibility for OPT is a benefit of maintaining F-1 status.  If USCIS grants your application for OPT you are authorized to work in the United States for a period of 12 months in a job directly related to your major.  You may apply for OPT as early as 90 days prior to and as late as 60 days after the last day of classes in your final term.

The following information will help you understand OPT and the application process.