One-Year Work Experience • OPT
After completing your certificate program, you’re eligible to apply to the U.S. Citizen & Immigration Services for one year of work authorization. Nearly all of our international students who complete a professional certificate program go on to qualify for unpaid internships and paid work experiences through the federally managed Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
Our students have amazing experiences in local startups and global companies. In the spring quarter of 2019, our students were authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) placement in 68 companies in the area.
They are working in software companies, mobile app startups, and bioscience businesses. Sometimes the companies are well-known—Google, LinkedIn, Gilead (Aerotek), Apple, Qualcomm, and Dolby Laboratories; other placements are in smaller companies—SwayPay, Azusa, Oghma Tech Inc, Vaco LLC, University of Pittsburg, Verity Wireless, Biocurious, and organizations still in startup stealth mode.
Roughly 70 percent of our students are working in their field in positions in California. Others have gone on to positions throughout the country, landing in New York, Arizona, New Jersey, and elsewhere.
OPT requires that student placements reflect their study areas. Our students are pursuing diverse interests.
- 44 percent are working in technology jobs.
- 20 percent are working business-related jobs.
- 10 percent are working in bioscience jobs.
- 4 percent are working in education and nonprofit jobs.
Practice What You Study • Internships
With approval from the internship coordinator, international students pursuing a certificate program can qualify for an unpaid internship and earn credit during their studies.
- Earn 3.0 units towards maintaining your F-1 status. Internship units cannot apply towards a certificate.
- Internship has to be related to your certificate program.
- Work a minimum 90 hours in the quarter, but no more than 200 hours.
- $200 enrollment fee per quarter.
- Complete an evaluation form at the end of each quarter to report your internship experience.
- Obtain your own internship or work with UCSC Extension's internship coordinator to be connected with our partner companies.