What is On-Campus Employment?

Employment is any work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, books, supplies, room and board, or any other benefit or compensation. At Mines, each semester provides several opportunities to obtain on-campus employment within academic departments, with various services and offices on campus, and in a variety of roles. The position duties do not have to directly align with your degree program.

The role must be directly affiliated with Mines; positions for a non-Mines vendor that happens to be physically on campus does not qualify for this authorization. Opportunities may include:

  • Direct employment for Mines – this includes roles like a teaching assistant, research assistant, library student worker, etc.
  • Work performed at an on-campus location for a commercial firm providing direct services to students (Example: Mines Bookstore or Food Services)

Only if you will receive absolutely no benefit or compensation of any kind at any time, then an activity can be considered to be “unpaid volunteering.” Review the information on Volunteering on the J-1 Employment page to determine if your opportunity aligns with true volunteerism.

Please contact ISSS if you ever have any questions or any doubt about whether you are authorized to accept an offer of employment.


To be eligible for on-campus work authorization, you must: 

  • Be in good academic standing with Mines
  • Be enrolled full-time (exception: regular academic breaks)
  • Have a formal offer of employment with a Mines on-campus office or vendor (i.e. Mines Market)
    • All assistantships and fellowships require on-campus work authorization to be on your J-1 SEVIS record
  • Maintain the 20 hour-per-week maximum during regular academic terms
  • Have evidence from the ISSS that you have been authorized for on-campus employment

On-campus employment can only be issued for a maximum of 20 hours per week total during regular academic terms. This is a combined total between all opportunities. For example, if you have an assistantship for 15 hours a week, you can only work an additional 5 hours per week in another on-campus role. 

How do I find an on-campus job?

Most campus jobs are posted on DiggerNet. To apply for on-campus jobs, you are able to create a DiggerNet account with the Mines Career Center. This database advertises both on-campus and off-campus jobs however, you can filter your search to only look for on-campus jobs. On-campus jobs are also advertised on flyers posted around campus, on office bulletin boards, in the Daily Blast and many other places.


Work-study awards are part of federal financial aid packages and are only available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. As a J-1 student, you are generally ineligible for a work-study position. Some campus jobs are designated as “work-study” positions. The job description might include a statement such as: “position open only to Mines Students who qualify for work-study awards.”

However, there are some cases where the term “work-study” might be used in a general sense and may not necessarily refer to the financial aid award described above. You can contact the office that posted the job opening to confirm whether or not you must have a federal work-study award to be eligible for the job.

How to Apply

To apply for on-campus work authorization, please complete the on-campus work authorization letter and submit the International Portal request for On-Campus Authorization

You will need your formal offer letter from the Mines department or vendor detailing the employment dates of the position, number of weekly hours, job title, location, and supervisor information.

How many hours can I work?

After you have received formal on-campus employment authorization from the ISSS, you are eligible to work:

  • Part-time (20.0 hours per week or less) during your regular academic semester
    • Exceeding 20.0 hours per week is a violation of your status and can have a negative impact on your immigration status
    • Note: Semester dates are set by the Mines academic calendar and include finals week
  • Full-time (more than 20.0 hours per week) between semesters (i.e. Winter break, Summer break if not graduated)

Graduate students: if you have a Teaching or Research Assistantship, it can only be considered part-time or less during the academic year. All on-campus employment must equate to 20.0 hours per week or less. Exceeding this amount can jeopardize your immigration status.

If you have an opportunity for multiple on-campus employment opportunities, please consult an ISSS advisor prior to engaging in work. You must have authorization added to your record for each instance, duration, and difference in weekly hours. Authorization will not print on your DS-2019, but must be visible in your SEVIS record. Only the ISSS can complete this.

Do I need to get a Social Security Number?

If you will receive any payment or taxable goods, you need to get a Social Security Number. Please review the information about “Social Security and ITIN” on the J-1 Employment page

The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of the Colorado School of Mines, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or any other matter. We aim to provide substantial and useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or sufficiency of the information contained in or linked from this web site or any external/associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the Colorado School of Mines nor the Office of Global Education is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Click below to apply for On-Campus Employment authorization through the International Portal.


International Student & Scholar Services
924 16th Street
Green Center, Suite 219
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00a – 12:00p and 1:30p – 4:00p

Main Office Phone and Email
(303) 273-3210 / isss@mines.edu