Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-1 international students to engage in temporary employment for practical training directly related to their majors. F-1 students may be eligible for a total of 12 months of OPT. To apply for employment authorization for Optional Practical Training, students must attend an information session presented by International Student and Scholar Affairs or have viewed the OPT Informational Video within the current academic year. This session provides information about your eligibility and responsibilities related to OPT.
Students are not required to have a job offer to apply for OPT authorization.
If your program end date is May 2021, then you should be thinking about your Post-Completion OPT application timeline in January 2021. USCIS has very specific deadlines that must be considered when applying for OPT, and you should expect USCIS to take more than 90 days to process your OPT application.