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Employment opportunities for F-1 students are very limited. You are not permitted to work except in the circumstances listed below.

Employment Opportunities

On Campus Employment

As an F-1 student, you may work up to 20 hours per week on campus while you are enrolled in a full course of study or otherwise maintaining status. However, on-campus employment is never guaranteed for international students. You may apply for on-campus work after October 1. Very few student workers, either domestic or international, work 20 hours per week. It is more common to work 10 hours or fewer per week. 

You do not need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for on-campus employment; you will, however, need to complete all necessary paperwork and present your passport, I-94 and I-20. This is done through Human Resources. For information on student employment and a listing of available student positions, visit the employment website.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Through CPT, an F-1 student may work off campus through an internship, practicum or field placement. The work must be directly related to your major and is done during your course of study.

You must first complete all requirements of your department or school: Rosary College of Arts and Sciences (RCAS), Brennan School of Business (BSB), School of Education (SOE), School of Information Studies (SOIS), School of Social Work (SSW), or Borra College of Health Sciences (BCHS) and be registered for the appropriate course. Please note that requirements for individual schools vary widely and you must abide by those requirements.

Download the Curricular Practical Training information sheet (pdf opens in a new window)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD work permit) which permits F-1 students to work off campus in their major field under very specific conditions.

Download the OPT information sheet (pdf opens in a new window)

For information on the 24 month STEM extension, please make an appointment to meet with a DSO.

Getting a Social Security Number

Social security numbers are issued solely for the purpose of employment. You will be eligible for a social security number if you are employed through any of the categories listed above. They cannot be issued for any other reason, such as doing a credit check, getting a driver’s license, etc. 

  • On-campus Employment. You may apply for an on-campus job after October 1. If you obtain a job, you will need to bring your passport, I-94 and I-20 to Human Resources and complete the necessary paperwork. Once all the paperwork is complete, you will receive an email detailing the steps for obtaining a social security number/card. The designated school official (DSO) will be copied on this email. You should make an appointment to see the DSO who will explain the process and give you the necessary papers to be completed before you go to the Social Security office.
  • CPT Employment.You must take your I-20 with the CPT authorization on page 2 to the Social Security office.
  • OPT Employment. You must take your EAD (the start date of employment must be on or before the date when you apply for an SS number) and I-20 with OPT approved on page 2 to the SS office.

In all cases, you must take your passport and current I-94 along with all other documents required.

You may go to any Social Security office. The one closest to Dominican University is located at 230 Mannheim Road in Hillside, Illinois

For more information, download International Students and Social Security Numbers (pdf opens in a new window). Download information and social security number application (pdf opens in a new window).