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J-1 Student On-Campus Employment

J-1 students must obtain authorization prior to beginning any type of employment, including on campus jobs and assistantships. ISSS can authorize employment for all J-1’s with a Vanderbilt DS-2019.  Students with DS-2019’s issued by a sponsor other than Vanderbilt, such as IIE, should contact their J-1 Responsible Officer for assistance.

Types of on campus employment

  • Employment Required by a Scholarship, Fellowship, or Assistantship.  This kind of work usually occurs on campus, with the school as the employer.  In certain circumstances, however, the work can be done elsewhere for a different employer.  You might work in a government or private research laboratory, for example, if your major professor has a joint appointment there, and would be supervising you in work that counted toward your degree.

If you are receiving funding from Vanderbilt that does not require service, it is not considered employment and authorization is not needed.

  • On-Campus Jobs Unrelated to Study.  The regulations, in allowing for jobs on campus that are unrelated to study, stipulate only that the work be done “on the premises” of the school.  That means that the school does not have to be the employer, and that you could work for a commercial company, such as a food service, in its operations on your campus.


To be eligible for on campus student employment, you must be:

  1. In valid J-1 status in the student sub-category
  2. Registered and studying full-time except during school breaks or a vacation period
  3. In good academic standing at Vanderbilt
  4. Approved in SEVIS for the specific employment in advance by ISSS.

Application Process

Complete the J Student Employment Application and submit it to ISSS.  Students are encouraged to submit the form 2 weeks in advance of your employment start date.

Students with DS-2019’s issued by a sponsor other than Vanderbilt, such as IIE, should contact their J-1 Responsible Officer for assistance.


On-campus employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time employment (working more than 20 hours a week) is acceptable only during official school breaks such as Winter break, Spring break and Summer.

Authorization is valid for up to 12 months at a time.  Students who wish to renew their authorization should submit the application with enough time to avoid gaps in employment.

How to find on campus employment

There are a few resources for Vanderbilt students to find on-campus employment.

Hire-A-Dore is a database for Vanderbilt related job opportunities. PLEASE NOTE: HIRE-A-DORE ALSO INCLUDES POSITIONS THAT ARE OFF-CAMPUS. J-1 students are not legally allowed to accept these jobs without employment authorization. They are generally classified as “other”, but be mindful when searching for employment on this site.

Additionally, if you have trouble logging in to Hire-A-Dore on your first attempt, contact Student Employment, and they will be able to help you.

Student Employment is another resource for helping Vanderbilt students find work.
Their office is located at 2309 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
The phone number is (615) 343-4562