Overview and Definition

F-1 students enrolled in degree-seeking programs and J-1 degree-seeking and exchange students at Northeastern University are eligible to work on-campus while attending classes. The work does not need to be related to the student’s field of study. Students must maintain legal F-1 or J-1 status while engaging in on-campus employment.

On-campus employment includes:

  • Working for Northeastern University in the library, laboratories, residential buildings, administrative offices, or doing research on-campus
  • Employment with Northeastern based on a fellowship, assistantship, or grant (such as a teaching or research assistantship)
  • Employment with approved on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as restaurants located in a University-owned building

If you have questions about if something counts as “on-campus” please review the list of eligible on-campus employers below or reach out to OGS directly.


  • Students may work up to 20 hours/week while school is in session and more than 20 hours/week during official school breaks as long as they are planning to enroll full-time the next academic term (this does not include recesses or days with no class)
    • If you are in your final academic term you may not work more than 20 hours/week
  • Continuing students may work more than 20 hours/week on campus work after the final exam period (which may be later than when final exams take place) is over
  • Graduating students are allowed to work until the official last day of university finals. The dates of the finals period are posted in the Academic Calendar
  • Students may be eligible to work on-campus while also engaging in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Pre-Completion Academic Training (AT) if allowed by their department
  • Students holding a Stipended Graduate Assistantship (SGA) should review this page for eligibility/requirements and submit the appropriate request for that type of on-campus employment. Students engaging in an SGA may not work in additional on-campus jobs
  • Remote on-campus employment:
    • F-1 students can participate in remote on-campus employment for a different Northeastern campus located in the U.S. that is not their home campus. F-1 students are not eligible to work remotely for a non-U.S. based Northeastern campus.
      • Example: An F-1 student at the Boston campus may be a Teaching Assistant for a course taking place at the Seattle campus. However, an F-1 student at the Silicon Valley campus cannot be a Teaching Assistant for a course taking place at the Toronto, Canada campus or other non-U.S. campus.
    • J-1 students may only participate in on-campus employment at the campus where they are attending classes and is listed as the site of activity on their DS-2019.

Application Process

  • F-1 Students:
    • If you already have a Social Security Number, you do not need to request an on-campus employment Social Security Number (SSN) Letter from the Office of Global Services (OGS). In this case, you can apply for on-campus work directly with the Office of Student Employment, Graduate Assistantships and Fellowship (SEGAF)
    • If you have been offered an on-campus job for the first time and do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to obtain an on-campus employment SSN letter from OGS. This letter can be presented to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to apply for a SSN. Please follow the steps below if you have a job offer and need to obtain a SSN.
  • J-1 Students:
    • J-1 students must receive employment authorization from the Office of Global Services (OGS) BEFORE they begin and for each position, regardless of whether they already have a social security number. Each on-campus employment position must be entered into your SEVIS record prior to you engaging in the opportunity.
    • Authorizations are granted for up to one year at a time or until the end of your J-1 program, whichever comes first.
    • If the J-1 student’s program sponsor is not Northeastern University, but an outside organization (such as Fulbright), the student will need to obtain employment authorization from the sponsoring organization.
    • J-1 students should submit a J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization request to OGS.  See below for details. OGS will issue a letter which can be presented to the Social Security Administration in order to apply for a Social Security Number.

Application Steps

1 Make sure your employer is considered on-campus by OGS by referring to the list below.

2 Log into myOGS and submit the e-form

F-1 Students: Submit the F-1 On-Campus Employment Request e-form.

J-1 Students: Submit the J-1 On-Campus Employment Request e-form.

3 A Designated School Official (DSO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) from OGS will review and sign the letter, if eligible.

An email will be sent to your Northeastern email address with the letter attached, along with an updated I-20 if needed for F-1 students. An updated DS-2019 is not required to be issued for J-1 students.

NOTE: The processing time for the on-campus employment letter is 15 business days.

4 Present the letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

For detailed instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number, please refer to the Social Security Number section of OGS website.

5 Visit the Office of Student Employment, Graduate Assistantships, and Fellowships (SEGAF) to complete the hiring process.

Check the SEGAF website for more information. There are specific pages for F-1 students and J-1 students.

Employment During Non-Required Academic Terms

F-1 and J-1 students may work more than 20 hours/week during non-required academic terms and vacation periods. This includes:

  • Between academic terms
    • This includes the day after the last day of the final exam period up until the day before the start of the next required academic term
  • Vacation/Break (i.e. Fall Break, Winter Break, Spring Break)
    • During Fall Break students may work more than 20 hours/week during the following dates:
      • CPS Graduate Students: 11/25/2024 – 11/30/2024
      • All Undergraduate and Non-CPS Graduate Students: 11/27/2024 – 11/30/2024
  • Summer Terms
    • If the summer term(s) is a vacation period during which you are not required to enroll in classes you may work more than 20 hours/week

The official start and end date of terms, exams, and university breaks are all posted in the Academic Calendar. Check the calendar to confirm the dates for your school.

Approved On-Campus Employers

The following non-Northeastern on-campus employers have been determined to be acceptable for on-campus employment for F-1 and J-1 students by OGS.

(Please pay attention to the specific location that is considered on-campus employment. For example, you would be allowed to work at Tatte Bakery and Cafe in Marino Center but not at any general Tatte Bakery and Cafe location).

Approved non-Northeastern on-campus employers:

  • Dunkin Donuts (Shillman Hall)
  • Dunkin Donuts (Richards/Hayden Hall)
  • Chartwell’s
  • Reprographics (Ell Hall)
  • Wollaston’s
  • Vanguard (Columbus Parking Garage)
  • B.Good (Marino Center)
  • Cafe 716
  • Rebecca’s (Churchill Hall)
  • Subway (Ryder Hall)
  • Ryder Cafe (Ryder Hall)
  • Cafe Crossing (International Village)
  • Kaplan (Belvidere)
  • Tatte Bakery and Cafe (Northeastern)
  • IST Management Services (Northeastern Mail Services)
  • Northeastern Peer Tutoring by Knack (Boston Campus)
  • Northeastern Bookstore (Barnes & Noble)
  • DBA Fuel America (TD Food & Beverage LLC)

Unapproved On-Campus Employers

The following non-Northeastern on-campus employers have been determined to be unacceptable for on-campus employment for F-1 and J-1 students by OGS.

Unapproved non-Northeastern employers near campus:

  • YMCA
  • Amelia’s Taqueria
  • Qdoba
  • Ruggles MBTA Eateries
  • Boston Shawarma
  • Wings Over Boston
  • Chatime NEU
  • University House of Pizza
  • New England Conservatory
  • Lightview

If the on-campus employer you would like to work at is not listed on either the acceptable or unacceptable list, please contact OGS for guidance. DO NOT START WORKING until you receive an approval from OGS.