Skip to main content



In general, all F-1 students are eligible for on-campus employment during the period of their academic program of study. Because the employment is "incident to status," no authorization from the International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required. Review all information below to understand how you can work on campus while you are a current student.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students located outside of the U.S. during their on-campus employment with UC San Diego should talk to their hiring department regarding requirements to accept or engage in on-campus employment while abroad. 

Learn What Qualifies as On-Campus Employment

  1. Work on the school premises, employed by the I-20 issuing institution (such as work for a UC San Diego department or college dining hall).
  2. Work on the school premises, employed by on-campus commercial firms (such as work at one of the restaurants in Price Center) which provides direct student service (such as food).
  3. Work done at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with UC San Diego (for graduate students only). See the eligibility requirements in the drawer below.

Confirm Your Eligibility for On-Campus Employment

  1. You must be a current F-1 student, pursuing full course of study
    • Please note that employment extending past the program end date of your current I-20 cannot be considered on-campus employment and requires post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization.
  2. Your on-campus employment does not have to be related to your course of study
  3. Your on-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week (or 50% time) while school is in session. It can be full-time during official school breaks. Graduate students may refer to GEPA's Policy for On-Campus Employment during Summer/Quarter Breaks.
  4. If your on-campus employment takes place at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with UC San Diego (for graduate students only), you must submit a "Letter Request through iPortal".
    • You will need to provide a letter from the employing entity and the UC San Diego faculty advisor explaining the nature of the employment and how the entity is educationally affiliated with UC San Diego.

Check Additional Resources

  • If you got an eligible paid on-campus job, and do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), then you will need to apply for one. See our Social Security Number page for more information on how to get an SSN.
  • Contact ISPO if you have more questions about campus employment.
  • See our Employment and Career Resources page for a list of employment resources available to our international students.