Can I study on H4 and then change the status to F1 to qualify for OPT

I am on h4 visa right now. I am planning to join college to do my masters( obvious reason to get a job) I qualify for in state tuition fees . So my question is , can I study on h4 for few courses and then later on change my visa status to f1 so that I qualify for OPT?

if yes , how much time I have to be on f1 to get qualified for OPT? How is the process of changing the visa from h4 to f1. I mean do I need to get it done in India or I can do it in US itself.

I have computer science masters degree… Will this exempt me from taking few courses… Ur help will be highly appreciated… Other inputs and suggestions are very welcome. Thanks

AFAIK, you need to be enrolled for at least 1 year on F-1 in order to get the OPT.

Hi Saurabh,

Could you please confirm that one year on F1 is mandatory to be eligible for OPT as I understood from USCIS and NAFSA where it states that a student needs to be on F1 at the time of applying for OPT and should be a full time student for one year(it can be combination of H4 and F1)
Relevant details : :Page 5 -
An F-1 student need not have been specifically in F-1 status for one full academic year, provided he or she was lawfully enrolled as a full-time student at a service-approved school in another nonimmigrant status that does not prohibit full-time study (INS Operations Instructions 214.2(f)(14)(ix))

USCIS : Form _I-765_OPT_Overview_06-19-2012.pdf :To be eligible for OPT, an F student must have been taking a full-course of study for one full academic year in the United States.

It nowhere states that the student needs to be on F1 for the whole academic year.

Kindly advice.

I was told by a DSO about that 1 year requirement on F-1. If you find the information otherwise including your DSO, then I may be wrong.