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Graduate International Student Admissions

Coursework Completion OPT

Students who have completed all coursework except for thesis or dissertation may apply for either Pre-Completion OPT or Post-Completion OPT.

Below is a chart comparing the key features of both types of OPT.

Pre-Completion OPT Post-Completion OPT
  • Part-time or full-time employment
  • Full-time enrollment
  • No unemployment limit
  • Limit of 90 days unemployment for full period of OPT
  • Not eligible for STEM extension
  • Eligible for STEM extension if meets degree and E-verify requirements
  • Not eligible for H1-B cap-gap relief
  • Eligible for H1-B cap-gap relief
  • Form I-20 may be extended if meets standard extension requirements                                
  • Form I-20 cannot be extended, must complete program requirements by end of OPT                          
  • Continued enrollment in thesis/dissertation courses required
  • Continued enrollment in thesis/dissertation courses required
  • Total of one year of OPT per educational level
  • Total of one year of OPT per educational level      


  • Full-time enrolled at least one full academic year (two long semesters)
  • Currently in valid F-1 status
  • Have completed all classroom coursework with only thesis or dissertation remaining

Application Process

  1. Carefully review the information on this website and/or attend an OPT workshop.
  2. Follow the application process for either Pre-Completion OPT or Post-Completion OPT.

Limits on Unemployment

  • Pre-Completion: No limit
  • Post-Completion: 90 days or less during the year of OPT

Reporting Requirements

  • Report any changes to legal name and residential or mailing address within 10 days of the changes
  • Report any to employer, employer address, and/or start and end of employment within 10 days of the changes
  • Use the OPT Student Employment Report Form to report changes. Submit it to
  • Confirmation that your SEVIS record has been updated will be emailed within 3 business days of submission of your report.

The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that OPT students who do not fulfill report requirement may lose their F-1 status.

Please note that updating your address through your myUTTyler account does not update your address in the SEVIS system. To ensure your address is updated in SEVIS, notify the graduate international student advisor at