On-Campus Work Eligibility

Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are allowed to be paid for work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year when classes are in session, and unlimited hours during any recess periods, such as winter break or summer vacation.

On-campus employment is work done for and paid by Columbia University. This also includes work for a commercial firm on the campus if it provides direct services to all Columbia students.

Off-Campus Work Eligibility

Curricular Practical Training is an authorization for off-campus employment that is an integral part of the established curriculum of your degree program. The M.S. in Sustainability Science program does not require the completion of an internship as part of the program’s curriculum, but approved students are eligible to undertake a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) internship.

Eligibility to Work Upon Graduation

M.S. in Sustainability Science graduates who hold an F-1 student visa may gain experience in their field of study by applying for off-campus work authorization in the United States for a period of up to three years, as part of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

M.S. in Sustainability Science graduates are able to request “STEM OPT extension,” or Optional Practical Training extension for an additional 24 months. Please contact the Columbia International Student and Scholars Office for more information about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

For questions about individual cases, please contact:

International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)