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Information for International Students

This page contains the following information of interest to international students pursuing degrees at the A. James Clark School of Engineering, with a focus on students with F-1 visas:


Working as an International Student

 International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) provides the most up-to-date information on the rights and responsibilities of international students at the University of Maryland. The information below is directed to degree-seeking students on F-1 (Student) visas. Consult ISSS's page on F-1 Employment for general information.
Students on J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Visas are subject to different regulations regarding employment. Consult ISSS's page on J-1 Employment for up-to-date information. 

On-campus Jobs: As an International Student with an F-1 Visa, you may work up to 20 hours per week during the semester at an on-campus part time job or graduate assistantship, starting the first day of your first enrolled semester at the University of Maryland. You do not need to meet with an engineering career advisor nor do you need access to Careers4Engineers/ Careers4Terps to apply to most on-campus jobs. 

  • For graduate assistant listings, see http://ejobs.umd.edu. These may be 9 or 12 month positions.
  • Our Campus Jobs page provides tips and links for finding part-time hourly work on campus. Please refrain from simply visiting offices to ask for a job.

Off-campus Work: There are strict rules governing the approval of off- campus work for students on F-1 visas. You may be eligible to apply for a type of work authorization called Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows you to participate in an internship that is directly related to your current program of study.  ISSS' webpage on F-1 Employment provides detailed requirements for CPT. To be eligible for CPT, you must have maintained F-1 status for at least two semesters and be in good academic standing.

Looking for an Internship or Entry Level Position

  1. Your first step is to activate your Careers4Engineers/ Careers4Terps account in Engineering Co-op & Career Services. Before we can activate your account, you must first attend both the Job Search 101 for F-1 Students and Resume Writing workshops, which are offered multiple times at the beginning of the semester.
  2. Start your internship search about 6-9 months before you plan to start your internship. Be sure to review our policies on Careers4Engineers Accuracy, Job Posting Frauds and Scams, Campus Interviews, and Accepting a Job Offer
  3. To prepare for your job search and applications, attend career workshops on Career Fair Preparation, Cover Letters and Professional Correspondence, Interviewing, and Evaluating Job Offers and Salary Negotiation. See schedule and sign up at http://ter.ps/engrworkshop. 
  4. Ask questions before you say yes to a position! Once you accept a position, you are obligated to that employer and you should stop seeking other positions for that term.

CPT Application and Enrollment in the Engineering Co-op Program (ENCO099/098)

Engineering students on F-1 visas who accept an internship offer usually enroll in ENCO099 or ENCO098 as the academic component of their CPT requirements. Important notes:  It is not possible to enroll in ENCO after mid-term grades have been posted. ISSS is only able to process one CPT work authorization per student per term (Fall, Spring, Summer). PhD students: If you have completed your required coursework, you may not be eligible to enroll in ENCO099/098 for the academic component of your CPT. Check with ISSS if you have questions about these policies.

Instructions to enroll in ENCO 098/ 099:

  1. Please review our instructions for Co-op/ Internship Approval and Registration [pdf]
    • Documents you will need:
      • Offer letter on official company letterhead signed by the employer that includes all of the information specified in the Co-op/ Internship Course Approval and Registration [pdf] instructions
        • Your first and last name
        • Specific start and end dates of your internship (remember, extensions during a term are NOT possible)
        • Number of hours per week you will work (must specify that you will not work more than 20 hours/ week during the semester, but you are not limited during summer and winter breaks)
        • Job title, and the specific term co-op or intern
        • Job description: at least 2-3 sentences that makes it apparent how the position relates to your major and/or curriculum
        • Name of supervisor
        • Address of your workplace (During the semester, it must be within the DC metro area.)
        • Salary/ amount of compensation
      • Completed Co-op/ Intern & Supervisor Agreement signed by your workplace supervisor
  2. Once you have accepted an offer, bring the aforementioned documents to the Engineering Co-op & Career Services Office. Please start the process at least 4-5 business days before you are due to start work.  You do not need an appointment.
  3. If the documents are in order, we will give you permission and instructions to enroll in and pay for ENCO099 or ENCO098.
  4. You must then request and receive CPT work authorization from International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) in 1126 HJ Patterson before you can start you internship.
    • ISSS walk-in hours are Monday-Thursday, 1:30-3:45 pm.
    • Contact ISSS via chat (Monday-Friday, 10:30-12:30) to request an appointment if you cannot go to walk-in hours. Same day appointments are rarely possible so plan ahead. 
    • You may also call ISSS at 301-314-7740 to schedule an appointment.
  5. To your appointment with ISSS, bring the following documents (printed)
    • offer letter
    • co-op/ supervisor agreement (signed by you, your employer, and an advisor in Co-op & Career Services)
    • any supporting documentation (proof of payment for ENCO summer course, etc.)
  6. If your application is approved, ISSS advisors will issue you a new I-20 with the details of your Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
    • If you leave the position during the CPT period, you must notify our office and provide ISSS with a copy of your letter of resignation. (If you are having trouble in your job, you may speak with an Engineering Co-op & Career Services staff member for advice.)
  7. Near the end of your work tour, you will need to complete an online work report, documenting your internship experience. You will receive an email with the link to the questionnaire.

CPT Extensions

If your employer would like you to continue working the semester following your initial CPT work authorization, you may request an extension to your CPT. To do so, you should bring the following to Engineering Career Services as soon as you have them, at least 4 business days before your current CPT expires:

Working in the US After Graduation

You may be eligible to work in your major field after you graduate under Optional Practical Training (OPT). See ISSS's website on OPT for eligibility and application requirements. You should plan to attend an OPT workshop sponsored by ISSS before your last semester of study at Maryland. While our office is not involved in the authorization of OPT, you are encouraged to use our services and attend relevant workshops as you prepare for your transition to full time work.

As with internships, you should carefully weigh all of your options before you accept a job offer. Once you say "yes," even verbally, you are obligated to that employer. Know that reneging on an offer can have serious consequences for your own professional reputation as well as for other Maryland students. See our Policies page for more specific information.

Work Visas, OPT & Green Cards: What You Should Know to Find a Job [WORKSHOP VIDEO] - Confused about options for staying and working in the United States after graduation? Worried about the H1B quota? The School of Engineering sponsored a seminar, presented by an experienced immigration attorney, discussing US work visa options and permanent resident green card options. The video link includes a detailed discussion of the H1B visa, pursuing permanent residence through employment, practical strategies for talking to employers about work visa issues during interviews, and much more.

Job Search Resources for International Students

  • UMD Campus Jobs - Ideas for students needing an on campus job.
  • Careers4Engineers -  Career database for UMD Engineering students
  • Job Boards - Engineering Career Services' list of external online resources for job searching
  • Going Global - Sign in to GoinGlobal through your Careers4Engineers or Careers4Terps account. Navigate to the H1B Database within Going Global to see a listing of H1B visa employers for over 40 of the largest cities in the United States. 
  • ISSS Helpful Links - Resources on immigration, legal aid, taxes, language and academic assistance, etc.
  • International Student - A comprehensive Internet resource providing international students with advice, useful links, scholarships, grants and other information.
  • Foreign Labor Certification Data Center - More detailed list of H1B visa employers than Going Global. The site includes employer's name and address, job title, salary, and occupational group.
    • - Select Disclosure Data
    • - Scroll down to LCA Programs (H-1B, H-1B1, E-3)
    • - Select most recent Disclosure File from the table
    • Please note: Data will download into Microsoft Excel. Since this is a very large file it will take a long time to download.