F-1 Optional Practical Training

  • 12-month OPT

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is designed to provide you with an opportunity to gain actual employment experience in your current major field of study. OPT is for a maximum of one year, per higher degree level (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) during your F-1 status. The purpose is to "round off" or complement your academic work.

  • 17-month STEM OPT Extension

    OPT may be extended for additional 17 months, for a maximum of 29 months. This extension is available to qualified F-1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). While on OPT extension, you must work in a field which is directly related to your major and be employed by a business enrolled in the E-Verify program.

  • Cap Gap

    Cap Gap is the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status. Cap Gap regulations allow an extension of F-1 status and at times post-completion Optional Practical Training for students who have filed an H-1B petition in a timely fashion.


 PLEASE NOTE: For REGULAR 12-Month OPT Applicants, you MUST have your documents checked by ISS before your OPT appointment.

For students looking to apply for OPT, they must have their documents reviewed.

This semester, the review times are as follows:
Mondays/Thursdays: 1-4pm
Fridays: 9-12pm

**You will not be seen for your appointment without having your documents checked prior**



PLEASE NOTE: For STEM 17-Month OPT Extension Applicants, you MUST have your employment verification letter reviewed by ISS before your OPT Extension appointment.

For students looking to apply for OPT Extension, please scan and email your
employment verification letter to opt@bridgeport.edu.

For details on what the letter should include, please review the sample template online.
Please allow adequate time for the letters to be reviewed.