International graduate students may request to receive optional practical training (OPT) after their graduate education. Graduate students are highly discouraged from starting their optional practical training (OPT) prior to completing their degree requirement. OPT status prohibits any type of student employment; therefore, a graduate student with OPT status may not hold a Graduate Assistant position and will no longer be eligible to receive a stipend or be eligible for a non-resident tuition waiver, and must pay tuition at the non-resident rate. In addition, once a graduate student has OPT status the graduate mentor is no longer required to pay the student’s tuition, fees, or health insurance.
Any Graduate Assistant requesting OPT must meet with a member of the Graduate College; this meeting must include their dissertation mentor. This meeting will discuss the ramifications of choosing a specific date for the student to start their OPT. OUHSC International Student Services will not process a request for OPT for a Graduate Assistant without a signature from a member of the Graduate College approving the start date.
OPT does allow a student to hold a professional position; however, the student must receive written approval from the degree granting department and comply with all Graduate College academic policies outlined in the Graduate College Bulletin