F1 Visa Holders

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					                                                                                                  Eligibility Requirements for Cooperative
                                                                                                                                Education
                                                                                                                                 F-1 Visa Holders
      Cooperative Education ♦ 348 Student Union I ♦ MSN 3B6 ♦ Fairfax, VA 22030-4444 ♦ 703-993-2365 ♦ 703-993-2361 (fax) ♦ COOP@gmu.edu

Mason’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program provides a structured educational experience that integrates your studies with
learning acquired through progressive, practical and professional work in a field related to your academic or career goals. Co-op offers
you a chance to test your choices while building knowledge, skills and competencies. Co-op is a partnership among students, the
University, and the employers with specified responsibilities for each party. Mason’s Co-op Program is managed by Career Services.

F-1 students enrolled in an academic program that considers work an integral part of their studies may participate in Mason’s Cooperative
Education Program by applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) through the Office of International Programs and Services
(OIPS). Both the Co-op Program and CPT requirements must be met.
No exceptions will be made to the eligibility requirements or work option schedules.

United States law requires students to obtain written authorization before starting any type of employment. Beginning work
without authorization from OIPS is a violation of F-1 Visa status. For more information about CPT, contact OIPS in SUB1, Room 310
or by calling 703-993-2970.
                                       Co-op Eligibility Requirements for F-1 Visa Holders
                            Undergraduate                                                                     Graduate
                                                               Must be in valid F-1 status
                                      Must have completed at least one academic year of full-time study in the U.S.
   Currently enrolled in a Mason degree-granting program, taking at            Currently enrolled in a Mason degree-granting program, taking at
least 12 credits                                                            least 9 credits or 6 credits with a GTA/GRA position
   Completed at least 30 credit hours toward degree                            Completed at least 6 credits toward degree
   Have at least 9 credit hours remaining beyond the current semester to       Have at least 6 credit hours remaining beyond the current semester to
complete degree                                                             complete degree
   Have at least a 2.0 overall GPA & good academic standing                    Have at least a 3.0 overall GPA & good academic standing
    Note: All your grades will be checked to insure you meet GPA            Note: All your grades will be checked to insure you meet GPA eligibility
eligibility requirements before you start your Co-op job.                   requirements before you start your Co-op job.
If you meet the requirements complete the “Intent to Enroll in Co-op” form and return it to Career Services, SUB I, rm 348.
If you DO NOT meet the requirements contact OIPS about other practical training options, or consider on-campus jobs.

                                             Co-op Position Requirements for F-1 Visa Holders
The following Cooperative Education work options meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) definitions and regulations for
Curricular Practical Training and George Mason University’s Cooperative Education policies.
     All jobs must be substantive and paid, defined by a job description provided by the Co-op employer.
     The position must provide progressive, practical and professional work in a field related to the student’s academic studies and career goals. The
     work must be an integral part of the student’s studies.
     Both the student and the employer must make a commitment to coordinate with Mason’s Co-op program and OIPS.
     Co-op may be part-time or full-time work covering a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks in length during an academic term.
     The earliest start date for any work period is after all university grades are posted for the semester.
     The latest start date is the “last day to add/drop without tuition liability.”
     A work period ends on the last day of the Mason exam period during any given academic term.
     The US Federal Government expects students on F-1 visas to progress toward the completion of their degree in a timely manner. Therefore,
     Mason’s policy is to limit full-time CPT (Curricular Practical Training) to one academic semester (Fall/Spring), and summers
     in reference to Co-op. If there are any questions, please contact OIPS.
     If your visa status changes to H-1B prior to completion of the Co-op work commitment, the Co-op notation will be removed for the entire
     semester. Please check with OIPS regarding the impact on your immigration status.

                                                    F-1 Visa Holders - Work Schedule Options
                             Undergraduate                                                                    Graduate
  Part-time work schedule (15-20 hours per week):                               Part-time work schedule (15-20 hours per week):
         Must enroll for at least 12 credits while working part-time                   Must enroll in at least 9 credits while working part-time during
         during the fall or spring semesters unless completing final                   the fall or spring semesters unless completing final semester at
         semester at Mason.                                                            Mason.
  Full-time work schedule (over 20 hours per week):                             Full-time work schedule (over 20 hours per week):
         May work full-time only in the summer                                         May take a maximum of 6 credits
         May take a maximum of 6 credits during the summer                             Full-time work is limited to one academic semester (fall or
                                                                                       spring), may also work full-time during summer.
                                                                                Doctoral Students
                                                                                       Doctoral students, who have completed all coursework, are
                                                                                       restricted to one work period when enrolled for
                                                                                       dissertation/research credits only

                                                                                                                                                    Nov 07

				
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