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You do NOT need a Social Security number (SSN) in order to apply for an on-campus job at UAB when you first arrive in the US. Your supervisor can use an artificial, placeholder number to allow system access and complete the onboarding process while you apply for an SSN. However, you must provide a Social Security number to your supervisor within 90 days of starting a job at UAB. Please read more about the process of applying for a Social Security number

Please note that if you have received a graduate assistantship, you are not eligible for additional on-campus employment, since all graduate assistantships assume 20 hours of work per week. International students are not eligible for “work-study” jobs, which are limited to US citizens and permanent residents receiving federal financial aid per US government regulations.



International students in F-1 status can work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and up to 37.5 hours per week during breaks (such as Spring Break and Winter Break) and when you submit a form to ISSS documenting an official “vacation” semester.

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F-1 Curricular Practical Training

Enrolled students who wish to participate in a required experience directly related to and required by their academic program must be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (“CPT”).

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F-1 Optional Practical Training

Students in F-1 status who have completed two semesters of an academic program are eligible for a total of 12 months of work authorization known as Optional Practical Training (OPT). You can apply to use your OPT eligibility before graduation (pre-completion OPT) or during your final semester (post-completion OPT).

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F-1 OPT STEM Extension

If you earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a specific field listed on the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) STEM Designated Degree Program List and are currently employed on post-completion OPT, you may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of your work authorization known as a “STEM OPT” extension.

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J-1 Student Academic Training

If you are a full-time enrolled student seeking a degree on a J-1 visa, you are eligible for a type of work authorization known as Academic Training, which allows up to 18 or 36 months of off-campus employment related to your major field of study.

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