On-Campus Work (F and J Students)

On-Campus Work Overview Graphic
Orange Divider


On-campus employment is permitted "incident to your status" as an F or J student. This means you are eligible as soon as you have obtained F or J status and does not require an application. On-campus work is done for, and paid by, Columbia University, with an exception for work for a commercial firm on the campus if it provides direct services to all Columbia students.

Information for both F and J students

You may work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year (fall and spring semester) when classes are in session, and unlimited hours during any recess periods, such as winter break or summer vacation. 

  • If your program requires you to be enrolled during the summer term, it is not considered a vacation period and you would be restricted to part-time hours.

The time you spend working on-campus is not deducted from the amount of time you are allowed for other types of work, such as F-1 Optional Practical Training or J-1 Academic Training, and does not need to be related to your field of study.

This is because Work-Study jobs are subsidized by federal financial aid for domestic students.

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

For J-1 Students only

J-1 exchange visitor regulations require sponsor authorization of on-campus employment. If your Form DS-2019 was issued by Columbia University, make this request to the ISSO /ISSO-CUIMC by clicking on 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.

Want to see more?

Watch from 00:00 - 1:49 to get a quick overview of on-campus work!

Watch 00:00 - 1:49 for a short overview on On-Campus employment.
Orange Page Divider

After You Find an On-Campus Job

Step 1

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

You must apply in person to the Social Security Administration, a federal agency, for a Social Security Number (SSN). Learn exactly what you need to do for an SSN application.

Step 2

Follow instructions for getting on payroll

Visit the New Student Employees page on the Human Resources website.

The office that hires you will give you instructions for completing an I-9 Employment Verification Authorization Form, tax withholding forms (federal IRS W-4 and NY state/city IT-2104), and possibly IRS Form 8233 if you are from a country eligible for a tax treaty benefit. 

W-2: By January 31st of the following tax year, you will be sent a W-2 form, also known as the Wage and Tax Statement, . The W-2 reports your annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck. At Columbia, Payroll in the Finance Division is responsible for the W-2. Access an electronic copy of your W-2 here.

Orange Divider