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International Student Services

The International Student Services (ISS) staff is here to help make sure all of our international students have the resources and assistance you need to achieve their academic and career goals.

We work closely with other offices around campus, including Practice, Learning Resource Center, Admissions, Human Resources, Office of Student Life and Advising to ensure the best experience for you.

Maintaining Legal Status

If you’re an international student with an F-1 visa, you must maintain your immigration status that was granted to you upon entering the U.S. The ISS staff is here to help make this as smooth as possible.

Living in the United States

Making to move to a new country can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. The ISS staff is here to help you transition with services such as cross-cultural activities and support, help obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) and applying for a Massachusetts Driver's License or State ID, setting up a bank account, getting a cell phone, and more.

Employment Guide for F-1 Students

Students may work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session, and over 20 hours per week during breaks and vacations, as long as they are planning to enroll full time next semester. Full time enrollment for undergraduate students is 12 credits/semester; for graduate students, 9 credits.

Students do not need to apply for work authorization with USCIS to be able to work on campus; however, they must consult with the International Student Advisor if the job is eligible for on-campus employment. On-campus job opportunities are competitive. Please inquire with the relevant department regarding job requirements and application deadlines.

CPT allows students to engage in practical training in a field directly related to their

program of study while earning academic credits. The BAC's curriculum includes a mandatory practice component for most degree programs, which means that students may participate in CPT as long as they are working to fulfill practice curriculum requirements (practice hours and skill level) necessary to graduate.

Undergraduate students may apply for CPT after they have been maintaining valid F-1 status for one academic year. Graduate students are exempt from the one academic year requirement in cases when immediate CPT participation is required by the program. Eligibility for immediate engagement in practical training is determined via a Practice Assessment [ Practice Assessments].

Please note that CPT requests are processed and approved at the BAC, and CPT employment may be approved for part- or full-time opportunities. There is no restriction on compensation during CPT, but CPT-eligible opportunities such as unpaid internships still require a CPT approval process at the BAC.

Upon completion of their academic program, BAC students may apply for practical training directly related to their field of study. Post-Completion OPT is a 12-month extension of the F-1 status during which students can remain in the U.S. and work in the field directly related to their degree.

F-1 students are alloted 12 months of OPT per each academic level, i.e. bachelor's or master's. F-1 students may not exceed a total of 365 days of full-time CPT to be eligible for Post-Completion OPT.

Graduates of the B. Arch and M. Arch programs are eligible to apply for an additional 24-months STEM extension of OPT.

Volunteering is a rewarding experience and a great way to engage with your neighborhood and community and meet new friends. F-1 students may engage in volunteering, however, it is important to keep in mind that unpaid work could still be considered employment for F-1 students. Before accepting a volunteer position, you must consult with Maria Jenkins, International Student Advisor, at or 617.585.0223.

Need More Assistance?

Maria Jenkins, International Student Advisor, or 617.585.0223