Internships & OPT

Unpaid Internship Eligibility & Requirements

Find and do an internship while you study in our International Program. 

Why do an internship?
  • Gain experience at a real company in Silicon Valley.  Also, the internship is worth 3 units per quarter and count towards the minimum 12 unit requirement.
What’s the cost of doing an internship?
  • $200.
How do I find an internship?
I have secured an internship offer, now what?
  • Receive an offer letter or use our confirmation form describing:
    1. Role and responsibilities and how it relates to your certificate.
    2. # of hours per quarter you will be interning.
    3. Supervisor’s title and contact information and company URL.
  • Once confirmed, we will enroll you in the course called “Business Practices for International Students”.
How many hours per week should my internship be?
  • A maximum of 20 hours per week, but no more than 200 per quarter.  The minimum is 90 hours.
Can my internship be paid?
  • No.
Does my internship need to be related to my studies?
  • Yes, and use the current skills you are studying.
How am I evaluated for my work during the internship?
  • At the end of each quarter, your supervisor must submit a short evaluation of your work.
  • You must also evaluate your company.
Contact extensioninternational@ucsc.edu for more information

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for International Students

Finish Your Studies And Get Real Work Experience In The US!

How do I qualify for OPT?

  • Studied for at least 9 months.
  • Completed a professional certificate program.
  • F-1 status at the time of application.

When should I apply for OPT?

  • 90 days before you complete your certificate.

How long is OPT and where can I work?

  • Up to 1 year and you can work anywhere in the U.S. as long as the job is related to your studies.

Can my OPT job be paid?

  • It can be paid or unpaid!

Does OPT cost anything?

  • $100 application fee will apply.
  • $410 to US Department of Homeland Security.

Am I guaranteed employment by completing one of your certificate programs?

  • No, you must interview and receive an offer from a company willing to sponsor your practical training. Many of our students have successfully secured positions.

I've already completed OPT during my last degree studies. Can I do OPT again?

  • If you already had OPT at a Bachelor's degree or higher, you are not eligible for an OPT with a certificate.

Continuing students can learn more about applying for OPT at the OPT workshop on May 22nd at 10am.