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 Dean Mirabelle. 
  • 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

The following are the general guidelines and may be changed due to campus circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

  1. Watch your email.  If a campus employment information session is offered by Kimball, be sure to attend.  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 Dean Mirabelle to request a meeting.  She will help you apply for a U.S. Social Security Number.  Bring the employment letter from Ms. Rollo with you.

  4. After receiving your Social Security card, contact Ms. Melissa Cutroni at Human Resources (Smith 101) to complete the required documentation, such as the I-9 form.

  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 a letter of employment from the manager of the department/office or (if appropriate) 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 ordinarily 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.  CPT employment may be paid or unpaid.  If you are considering an internship or research position, please contact Dean Mirabelle for an appointment to discuss the CPT application.

There are five 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 academic credit for your internship/research position (e.g., through the Academic Internship Program or the Experiential Learning Partial Credit options in the JD Power Center).  

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

  4. If you do not already have a US social security number you will have to apply for one and receive it prior to your first day of work.  Contact Dean Mirabelle for more information.

  5. You cannot begin working at your CPT internship/job until AFTER you have received work authorization, shown on a new I-20.

To learn more about internship opportunities (e.g., Academic Internship Program, New York Semester, Washington Semester) or the Experiential Learning Partial Credit option, 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.  See "working on campus", above, for more information about applying for a social security number.

Not sure whether you need CPT?  Request an appointment to see Dean Mirabelle 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 Dean Mirabelle for an appointment not later than February of senior year. You will also receive an email reminder in January of your 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. *Final day to apply for OPT is the 60th day after your CLASS END date, NOT graduation date.*

NOTE that students are not allowed to apply for OPT while they are living outside the U.S.  Please contact Dean Mirabelle if you have any OPT questions.

For full details about the OPT application process, please visit the OPT section of "Extending Your F-1 Visa after Graduation".