On-Campus Employment

The rules for F-1 and J-1 On-Campus Employment differ in some ways. Please read the instructions carefully.

If you already know that your job is considered on-campus, click here for Social Security Number application information.

View the topics below for general guidelines in seeking and obtaining on-campus employment at Penn.


Students are generally permitted to work on campus:

  • At the school that issued his/her valid I-20/DS-2019

  • While attending that school AND maintaining F-1/J-1 Status

  • Work for which a student receives a paycheck from Penn (i.e. work for Penn, on Penn Payroll, AND on Penn premises)


  • work for which a student receives other compensation, e.g. room & board, from Penn

Work hours must not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students may work more than 20 hours per week only in these cases:

  • During school breaks (e.g. Spring break or Thanksgiving) 

  • During vacation periods (e.g. summer - unless first or last semester at Penn)

Not all Penn Affiliates or Entities are considered on-campus employment:

  • Examples, not inclusive, of non-Penn sites: The Wistar Institute, CHOP, Unique Advantage, International House, Monell, Chemical Heritage Foundation

  • Special permission from ISSS is required to work at these non-Penn sites

J-1 STUDENTS ONLY. Prior written permission from ISSS is required. Please complete the following:​

J-1 Student On-Campus Employment Authorization Request

F-1 STUDENTS ONLY. No additional authorization required. Work that meets certain requirements is permissible. 

  • Employment by Penn

  • Other Employment on Penn's Premises (includes work on campus for outside contractor if work provides direct services to students. Check with ISSS first.)

  • Certain off-campus employment (where an official relationship between Penn & the employer exists)

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) regulations allow off-site work provided:

  • Location is educationally affiliated with Penn and work is associated with Penn's established curriculum

  • OR work is related to a graduate level research project which the university has contracted to perform (i.e. related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level)

  • The work must also be an integral or important part of your program of study.

  • Clear documentation about the relationship between Penn and the employer is required. Please consult with an ISSS advisor for clearance in advance.

If you are uncertain whether any proposed employment would qualify as "on-campus" employment as described above, please consult with ISSS prior to accepting the employment.