Optional Practical Training

Gain Work Experience. Build Connections. Expand Your Network.

If you choose to study with us for two semesters in the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program, you become eligible for an opportunity to put your newly learned skills and knowledge to practical use by applying for Optional Practical Training, more commonly known as OPT.

OPT is a temporary, 12-month work authorization in the United States, permitting you to stay an additional 12 months after your academic program ends to complete paid work. If you decide on this combined educational and work experience option, you should expect to be in the U.S. for approximately two years in total.

OPT allows you to see how a U.S. business runs, build a professional network and gain paid work experience in the U.S. that you can add to your C.V. or résumé. Combined with your studies at UC Berkeley, OPT can give you a competitive edge as you enter the workforce, advance in your career or apply to graduate school.


To be eligible to apply for OPT work authorization, you must first complete two semesters of BHGAP. You can begin either in the fall or spring as described by the two options below.

  1. Fall Semester Start (August): Complete your two semesters of BHGAP (fall and spring), then apply for 12 months of OPT.
  2. Spring Semester Start (January): Complete your spring semester of BHGAP, followed by your fall semester of BHGAP, then apply for 12 months of OPT.

Get Details on the Why and How of OPT

Although temporary, the 12 months of work experience and salary you gain through OPT is a unique opportunity. Especially for students studying in Berkeley, the chance to work in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley means learning from leading experts at some of the most innovative companies in the world. Read more in this blog post.

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