On-campus Employment (F-1)

F-1 students may work on any of Mason's three US campuses (Fairfax, Arlington and SciTech) up to 20 hours per week during spring and fall semesters, and full-time during vacation periods (summer, winter, and spring breaks).  The employment may either come from a GMU income source or the third party business that serves Mason students on-campus, such as the bookstore, bank, or food services.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(i)

Student Eligibility Requirements

1. Must be maintaining F-1 status;
2. Must have a valid and accurate I-20 from George Mason University.

Permitted Hours

Fall and Spring: max. twenty hours per week
School breaks in winter, spring and summer: full-time employment is allowed

Important Note: If you are taking classes in the summer, it is best not to work full-time while your class is in session. Even though summer is typically a vacation term for the university, if you are enrolled in classes, a strict interpretation of on campus employment regulations indicates that you should limit your work to 20 hours while class is in session. This is particularly important if you are graduating at the end of summer since the U.S. government likely considers your graduation term an academic, not vacation term. You must also stop working once your program is complete.

IMPORTANT: F-1 students who have an assistantship of 20 hours per week cannot accept additional employment during the semesters.

Got a Job Offer?

Here is what you need to do before you begin your work:

If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN):

If you already have a Social Security Number (SSN): 

  1. If you are a new student or starting a new education level (example: changing from Pathways to Degree Studies or Bachelors to Masters), make sure that you have completed OIPS:  F-1 Check-In
  2. Review Human Resources International Employee in the U.S
    • Watch the video
    • Complete the steps in the New International Employees Hiring Guidance (PDF). However, skip steps related to Social Security Numbers since you already have one

IMPORTANT: You need a job offer to apply for Social Security Number (SSN).

Looking for an on-campus job?

Most of the on-campus jobs are listed on Handshake, brought to you by University Career Services. Each year, University Career Services staff help thousands of Mason students discover careers. They offer career counseling, industry-focused advising, resume critique, many events, online resources, and more.

If you are interested in applying for jobs and internships on Handshake you will need to upload a copy of your resume.

TIP: To expedite the Handshake resume approval process you are encouraged to utilize the University Career Services walk-in hours to get feedback on your resume BEFORE you upload it to Handshake.


Other Employment Options

F-1 students may be eligible for CPT, OPT and STEM OPT.