On-Campus Work (F and J Students)

On-campus employment is work done for and paid by Columbia University. This also includes work for a commercial firm on the campus if it provides direct services to all Columbia students.

On-Campus Work Overview Graphic
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F-1 and J-1 On-Campus Work Overview

You are allowed to be paid for work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year when classes are in session, and unlimited hours during any recess periods, such as winter break or summer vacation.

There is no one central place where all on-campus jobs are listed. Some places to look are:

This is because they are subsidized by Federal Financial Aid for domestic students.

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What to Do After You Find an On-Campus Job

On-Campus Work Timeline
Step 1

Apply for a Social Security Number (if you don't have one)

Read about an SSN application here.

Take the card to your hiring department or office for them to resubmit paperwork with the number to Human Resources.

We advise you not to carry the Social Security Card with you, but to memorize the number or make a note of it elsewhere and put the card in a safe place with your other important documents. We all need to be careful to avoid identity theft.

Step 2

Complete the I-9 Employment Verification Authorization Form

Everyone employed in the U.S. must complete the I-9 Employment Verification Authorization Form within the first 3 days of employment. Read this webpage from Human Resources to learn more.

Most students on the main campus go to 205 Kent Hall to complete an I-9 but there are other I-9 Centers at both campuses.

Bring your:

Step 3

J-1 Students only: Login to Compass with your UNI and password to submit your on-campus employment information.

Please click the appropriate link below:

Not sure of your campus? Check our campus school list.
Need help using Compass? Learn more on our Compass User Guide.

Other J-1 Requirements

J-1 Students need to notify us about on-campus employment each semester.

If you have an outside sponsor such as Fulbright, you need to contact that sponsor for permission to work.

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Other paperwork you may need for employment

A federal form that you must complete, even if you qualify for any tax exemption based on a tax treaty with the U.S. If you are a nonresident alien (in the U.S. for fewer than 5 years in F/J status), you should follow these special instructions by the IRS.

Your office or department where you’ll work will also give you this form for New York State and New York City tax withholding.

The U.S. has tax treaties or agreements with many countries and territories.

  • See if your country is among these and whether you are eligible to claim a tax treaty benefit here.
  • Your hiring department will have you complete Federal Form 8233 to file with the Human Resources office to claim a tax treaty, if applicable.
  • Questions regarding Tax Treaty eligibility can be directed to Carlos Lira-Coppoin Human Resources