If your program requires a field experience or internship through the College of Education you will need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to complete the requirements for several courses. Obtaining the SSN is the responsibility of the student.
If you are pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in an educator preparation field, you will need to complete field experiences in EDF 2005 and EDG 2701. These are prerequisite courses required for admission to the College of Education. You will need an SSN before enrolling the first day of classes for these courses.
If you are pursuing a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Degree, you might have field experiences prior to your final internship depending on your program of study. Therefore, contact your faculty advisor to determine if you will need a SSN before the first day of courses of your first semester in the program.
Graduate students in other degree majors not mentioned above should contact their faculty advisor to determine whether or not a practicum experience is required. If so, it is likely a SSN will be required before being placed in the experience.
It is your responsibility to obtain a SSN from the Social Security Administration. The ability to obtain an SSN is based on your current visa status. Please see International Services if you are not an F-1 visa holder and are unsure of your work eligibility.
If you are an F-1 visa holder the Social Security Administration will only issue you a SSN if you secure an on-campus job offer. It is the student’s responsibility to secure a job offer.
If you are an F-1 visa holder who is hired or offered an on-campus job, you should complete the following steps:
- Obtain a written job offer from your new employer at USF.
- Complete an International Services Letter Request Form requesting a Social Security Letter.
- Submit the Letter Request Form with a copy of your letter of offer to the International Services Office. (Note: All document requests take five business days to process.)
- Take your Job Offer Letter, Social Security Letter, Passport, I-94 Card and I-20 to the Social Security Office to apply for your Social Security Number.
Note that it can take a couple of months for you to receive your Social Security Card, therefore; please plan accordingly.
F-1 visa holders are allowed to work 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session.
F-1 visa holders may be approved for Practical Training off-campus (Please see International Services regarding PT options) if the internship is a paid experience. If you complete the Practical Training during the duration of your program, you may not complete Practical Training after program completion. Most international students therefore prefer to do Practical Training when they have completed so they can maximize the hours they work and get a better compensation.
Some international students have J-1 visas (Exchange Visitor Visa). An international student with J-1 visa would need to switch sponsorship after two years of the program.
If you are awarded a graduate assistantship then it is important for you to get an SSN as soon as possible. It is also advisable that you arrive in the U.S. at least 2-3 three weeks prior to orientation as there are many tasks related to housing, registration, and employment which take time.
International students may only take three credits/one online course per semester.
Once you are admitted into the program, you may request a department mentor from your program. This student mentor can offer advice as you select housing, orient you to campus, and support you as you enter the program.