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Full-Time Student Status

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all Drake international students to be enrolled full time and make satisfactory progress toward graduation.

To be a full time student, you must enroll in:

•a full-time ESL program

•a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits, or 12 PharmD credits

•a minimum of nine graduate or law credits or a minimum of 6 credits for a doctorate

In limited circumstances (for example, serious health problems) a reduced load may be allowed by USCIS, but this requires approval by the International Student Advisor prior to dropping below full-time status. 

Working in the US

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are allowed to work on campus beginning their first term of enrollment at Drake. Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and up to 40 hours per week during breaks. J-1 students must get authorization to work in their SEVIS record from the International Center before they can start working. F-1 students do not need permission from the International Center before starting employment. There are no restrictions on the type of on-campus employment.

All international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must obtain a work authorization on their DS-2019 or I-20 to work off campus. There are two types of work authorizations available to F-1 students: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students must have completed two semesters at a U.S. college or university to be eligible for the work permit. Students who apply for CPT must also obtain course credit for their experience (whether it be paid or unpaid). Students who apply for OPT must allow 90 days to for USCIS to process the work permit. CPT applications can be authorized by a Drake University Designated School Official in the International Center and can be authorized within 7 business days from the receipt of the completed CPT request form. Please contact the International Center for further details.