International Employment

There are four different ways of seeking employment once you start attending Dominican University of California: On-Campus, Off-Campus, Curricular Practical Training, and Optional Practical Training.


We advise you to meet with Vaolele Stawiarski, DSO, prior to approaching any potential employers.

On Campus-Employment

On-campus employment for F-1 international students is limited to 20 hours a week (part-time) during fall and spring semesters and 40 hours a week (full-time) during summer and University breaks.

Freshman students are required to wait until their second semester at Dominican to begin on-campus employment. Transfer undergraduate students and new graduate students may begin on-campus employment at the beginning of their first semester at Dominican.

Many international students apply for positions in various campus locations such as the bookstore, library, Conlan Gym, and the Registrar’s Office and are employed through a Dominican International Student Work-Study or internship in their academic department.
Read more about on-campus employment.

Off-Campus Employment Based on Economic Hardship

Off-campus employment authorization is available to F-1 students who are facing severe economic hardship due to an unforeseen change in their financial circumstances.

The application is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Bureau (USCIS) and the authorization is in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. There is a $410 application fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the processing time is about 3 months.

The EAD card is issued for one year and is renewable. Students are able to work 20 hours a week when classes are in session and 40 hours a week during winter and summer breaks. Receiving this type of employment authorization does not affect eligibility for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Eligibility Requirements

Students are encouraged to try to find employment on campus before applying for this kind of off-campus employment authorization. Please note: To apply to work off-campus, students must have completed one academic year in F-1 status at Dominican.

Students also must have documentation explaining the unforeseen changes in their financial circumstances that necessitate off-campus employment.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows F-1 international students to participate in paid off-campus academic internships during their degree program.

The purpose of CPT is academic, not just for employment purposes, and the internship must be considered an integral part of a student’s degree program. Students must have a specific job/internship offer to apply.

If the internship is an unpaid or volunteer position, CPT is not required. In that case, however, students cannot accept any kind of compensation for work performed. Read more about Curricular Practical Training.


Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit given to F-1 students who are completing a Bachelor's or graduate degree in the United States. Its purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to gain employment experience in the student’s field of study.

OPT is adjudicated (approved) by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Download the OPT packet.

OPT Advising Workshop

F-1 international students interested in applying for OPT must be advised by Vaolele Stawiarski, DSO. E-mail Vaolele at [email protected]. The advising session includes important details about eligibility requirements, application timeline, reporting requirements and other pertinent topics related to OPT. All necessary forms for the OPT application will be provided after the completion of the advising session.

90-Day Unemployment Rule

Regulations limit the time of unemployment a student can accrue during OPT to a maximum of 90 days.