On-campus Employment

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations allow F-1 international students to work up to 20 hours a week on-campus when classes are in session and up to 40 hours a week on-campus during the semester break and the summer.  International students are eligible for student worker positions and graduate assistantships.  Student worker positions provide a basic salary with no extra benefits while a graduate assistantship provides a higher salary, possible in-state tuition waivers, and in limited circumstances tuition remission.  International students are not eligible for work-study (work permit required) positions. 

Career Development Office

The mission of the Career Development Office is to educate students and provide them opportunities throughout their college career to achieve employment success and to become contributing members of a global society.  For more information about the Career Development Office and their services click here

Off-campus Employment

F-1 visa international students are only allowed to work off-campus after they have been authorized by an international advisor and/or USCIS. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of the F-1 visa status.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows students who have internship or research courses to obtain part-time or full-time paid work experience outside the classroom. To learn more go to our CPT page.   

Students are required to attend a CPT workshop before they may apply. For a schedule of the workshops go to ISSS Calendar. To register for a CPT workshop go to Registration.


Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows students to gain part-time or full-time work experience in their degree field for 12-months and in some cases for an additional 24 months. Students are required to attend an OPT workshop prior to being eligible to apply for 12-month OPT. For a schedule of the OPT workshops go to ISSS Calendar. To register for a workshop go to Registration

For more information go to our OPT page.  

Economic Hardship

Students who have been in status for at least one academic year and who have faced extreme financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control may be eligible to apply for an economic hardship work authorization. Authorization allows a student to work part-time off-campus while maintaining his or her full course load.  To determine if you are eligible for this authorization, please contact the ISSO.

Volunteer Work

International students are strongly encouraged to contact an advisor at the ISSO prior to beginning any volunteer internship off-campus.  To better determine if the off-campus internship is truly volunteer the student together with their potential internship coordinator should review the Department of Labor Fact Sheet related to Internships and the Fair Labor Standards Act.  This test for unpaid interns will help the student and employer better determine the nature of the internship.  For more information contact the ISSO. 


The American tax system is very complex. ISSO advisors are not professionally qualified to provide tax advice. The university Accounting Department hosts a tax workshop for international students and scholars each in the spring semester to provide general information on taxes.  For assistance with the preparation of tax forms, students should seek professional assistance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), tax accountants, tax attorneys or a licensed tax preparation service.

Students may go to the IRS’s website for international students and scholars at or call 1-800-829-1040. You may also hire a tax service in the yellow pages to assist with your taxes.

Social Security Number

International students are only eligible for a social security number if they have been offered employment.  Generally, international students are only eligible for on-campus employment unless they have met the requirements for practical training.  If you have been offered on-campus employment then you will need to:

  • Have your hiring department provide you with an original letter of employment on department letterhead, with your full name as it appears of your I-20, a statement of employment, and a specific start date for your employment.  For a sample letter click here
  • Once you have the letter of employment go to the ISSS and complete a request form for a social security letter
  • Once the ISS has issued your social security letter you will need to go to the nearest Social Security Office and apply for a SSN.  You will need to bring your current I-20, passport, visa, and I-94. 

Students may begin their on-campus employment without having the SSN (except students employed by Sodexo).

A letter from the ISSS is not required or necessary for students on approved Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) to apply for an SSN. Students may take their CPT or OPT I-20, passport, visa, I-94, EAD card for students on OPT, and employment letter to the nearest Social Security Administration office to apply.