Maintaining Full Time Status

Undergraduate students are required to enroll in 12 units per semester.  Graduate students are required to enroll in 8 units per semester (MS Computer Science) or 6 units per quarter (MBA and MS Biotechnology).

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

Reduced Course Load form must be submitted one week prior to (add/drop) deadline.  If you plan to withdraw from a class later in the semester, you should discuss this with a CIA advisor and then provide a RCL after withdrawing from the class.

On Campus Employment for F-1 Students

F-1 students can work up to 20 hours per week on campus.  F-2 dependents are not authorized to work either on campus or off campus.  When course registration is complete, international students can visit the Career and Development Center for campus job openings. 

  • International students are responsible for getting their own on campus job upon arrival and registration of courses.  Student employment at CI is handled through the Career Services.  Once you have registered, you may apply for a campus job.
  • Remember that as an international student, you are NOT allowed to take Federal Work Study positions.  Graduate teaching or research assistantships and fellowships are awarded and determined at the department level.
  • International students are allowed to work only for 20 hours each week while school is in session and full time during official breaks.  Most students employed on campus are paid every month by payroll check.
  • International students who are offered a campus job can apply for a Social Security Number.  Please obtain the on-campus employment verification letter by the department in order to apply for a Social Security Number.

Travel I-20

Please submit an I-20/DS2019 Request Form if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.  If you are going home to apply for a visa renewal, you must submit an I-20/DS 2019 request Form along with the updated bank statement in order to receive the new I-20 for your visa application.

Address Changes

Please report all address changes to CIA within 10 days of your move.  CIA will enter the information into SEVIS as required by law.

The CI Dolphin email is the official communications channel for all CI communications.  You are expected to check your CI email account frequently.

Reinstatement to F-1 Student Status

An F-1 student is considered to be out of status, and must apply for reinstatement to F-1 student status, if he or she has:

  • Not maintained full-time enrollment and progress toward his/her degree during each academic term
  • Used another school’s Form I-20 to enter the United States and did not register at that school for a full academic term before transferring to CI
  • Not completed the transfer procedure according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations within 14 days of beginning attendance at CI
  • Not applied for a program change within ten days after the start of a new program level or
  • Not kept their passport valid at all times

If you are an F-1 student who needs to request a reinstatement to F-1 student status, you must make an appointment with a CIA advisor.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional practical training (OPT) is the opportunity for students in F-1 status to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus.  OPT can be used before or after graduation for a period of up to 12 months full time.

  • Authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Student needs to be in F-1 status one academic year to apply
  • Need Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card
  • Student must have valid health insurance purchased from Wells Fargo through

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students where the employment is considered to be a mandatory or important part of the curriculum or academic program.

This employment may be an internship, cooperative education job, a practicum, or another work experience that is either required for a degree or for which academic credit is awarded.

Frequently asked questions for SCTLM Applicants (MS Biotech Students Only)

 When can I start the internship?

 Normally the first available day is the first day of the semester which you are enrolled for the internship course. You must start your internship within 30 days from the start of the semester in which you are enrolled in the internship course.

How long can I do the internship?

 F-1 students who are authorized for CPT can work full time for up to 12 months. However, if the students work full time for 12 months, they will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training. To ensure eligibility for OPT, F-1 students must end their CPT 11 ½ in months.

Do I have to have a health insurance while I’m doing this internship?

 Yes, all F-1 students must keep their health insurance valid while they are on a CI I-20.

Will I receive an Employment Authorization Document/Card from the Department of Homeland Security?

 No, you will receive an updated CPT I-20 which has the information about your CPT authorization.

Can I quit my internship?

You must inform the CIA before you decide to make changes to your internship status. You are registered in an internship course and you will need to continue to maintain your full-time status for the duration of the semester you end your internship.

When should I submit the CPT form to the CIA?

 You must submit the form to the CIA no later than 2 weeks before your CPT start date so that we can issue you a new I-20.

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