International Students

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The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

SEVIS is the United States government’s information system for international students and exchange visitors and is monitored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Corcoran College of Art + Design is a SEVIS-authorized school.

Responsibilities of International Students

Applicants will work with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to establish their F-1 visa issues during the admissions process. After matriculation, F-1 international students will work with the director of academic advising in order to maintain correct contact and academic information and I-20 forms. All SEVIS records must be kept up to date and it is the responsibility of the students to maintain a valid immigration status for the duration of their stay in the United States.

Federal Requirements

International students and exchange visitors report to the director of student support and retention for initial registration in SEVIS within 30 days of the first day of class.

Any change of information listed on the I-20, such date of graduation, change of major, or other information must be reported to the director of academic advising. Students must make the notification within 10 days of a change of address.

Course Load

Every semester undergraduate students must maintain a minimum of 12 credits per semester and nine credits per semester for graduate students. International students may be eligible to reduce their course load to a minimum of six credits per semester if they have a medical condition, are in their final semester of study, or are encountering academic problems. Students who wish to apply for a reduced course load should notify the director of student support and retention.

International students who do not finish their program by the end date listed on their I-20, must notify the director of academic advising before the end date. They must maintain their status and make acceptable academic progress in order to extend their program.


International students, intending to travel abroad before completing their degree, must have their I-20 forms signed by the director of student support and retention within six months for admittance back into the United States. They are required to keep their passport valid at all times.


Employment is restricted by federal regulations and must be authorized by the Corcoran’s Office of Students Affairs. F-1 students may work on-campus with a maximum of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and are paid on an hourly basis. Full-time on campus employment is possible during breaks. Off-campus employment is generally prohibited for F-1 visa holders. Social Security numbers will be issued by the Social Security Administration to international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa only if they are authorized for employment and after a job offer has been extended.

The Office of Student Affairs administers F-1 student records, helps students comply with federal regulations, provides assistance to students who are on other types of visas, as well as students who are considering a change of status. Please contact Jon Youngs, director of student support and retention, ( ) with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is authorization for students on an F-1 visa for internships that grant academic credit. Undergraduate students may apply for CPT in their junior year after completing one full-time, academic year in F-1 student status at the Corcoran with a 3.0 GPA. Graduate students may apply for CPT after completing at least one full-time academic year at the Corcoran with a 3.0 GPA. The application for CPT must be processed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is employment authorization that allows students on an F-1 visa or status to gain up to 12 months of professional work experience in their field of study. Eligible students may apply for this authorization for employment during their studies at the Corcoran or after the completion of studies. The application for OPT must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs before being submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. All students seeking employment must provide original documents verifying their right to work in the United States. For more information please see the “Students and Employment” section of the USCIS website: .

Degree Completion

F-1 holders who have completed their program of study may remain in the U.S. for up to 60 days after the program end date listed on the I-20 form. Students may also be eligible to apply for a 12 month OPT that allows them to work after completing their studies. Students must contact the director of student support and retention to obtain authorization before they take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Corcoran. Federal regulations give students 15 days to depart from the U.S. if they have authorization to withdraw from their program. Failure to depart from the U.S. will result in a violation of status. Federal regulations require students to leave the U.S. immediately if they violate their status in any way.