Carnegie Mellon University

Working in the U.S.

On-Campus Employment

Students in the EST&P program rarely take on part-time work during the academic year due to the high academic workload.  However, international students attending Carnegie Mellon on a F-1 visa have opportunities to work on campus as graders, course assistants or in other capacities. These positions, which constitute on-campus work, generally do not require any authorizations and allow up to 20-hours of work per week.  

Off-Campus Employment 

In order for a student with an F-1 visa to work off-campus, you must obtain work authorization under Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT).  Please refer to the OIE website for detailed information and the forms necessary to apply for CPT and for OPT. Of particular note is the requirement to complete a full academic year (two semesters: fall and spring) to be eligible for work authorization under CPT or OPT.  Therefore, international students starting in the spring term most likely will be ineligible to work during the summer term in the U.S. 

All EST&P graduates are eligible to apply for OPT upon graduation if they so choose.  EST&P is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree program.  However, only students in the EST&P-AS degree program who enroll starting in the Fall semester are eligible to apply for a summer CPT internship off-campus.    EST&P degree students apply for OPT only.  All students who participate in CPT must submit the proper completed OIE forms, register and pay tuition for three units, and submit a final summary report that will receive a letter grade and count towards degree requirements.

Unique to the College of Engineering graduate students, CMU has a team of Career Consultants dedicated to support the engineering graduate student population.  Consultants provide job search support before and during the program, and also to the alumni. They have created a novel career service model specific to the needs of engineering master’s students.

Students who are most successful in their career pursuits actively engage with their consultants and the resources available at Carnegie Mellon University, including numerous job fairs and employer events.  International students interested in pursuing career opportunities in the United States, should be prepared to conduct a rigorous job search, meet regularly with their career consultants and leverage the resources available to conduct both an on and off campus search.