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Eligibility for Student Employment

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
August 25, 2017
Last Revised Date: 
December, 2020
Policy Number: 
SEM 100.0
Responsible Unit: 
Human Resources

Purpose and Summary

This policy establishes enrollment requirements for University of Arizona students to be eligible for student employment. A student worker’s primary relationship to the University is as a student, not as an employee.


This policy applies to students in Student Worker Groups B–D, Student Residence Hall Assistants, and Graduate Assistants/Associates.


Student Worker: A student worker is a part-time employee who is concurrently enrolled at the University of Arizona. The student’s employment is interim or temporary in nature and is incidental to the pursuit of the student’s education. Student workers are at-will employees. There is no guarantee of employment, implied or otherwise.


It is the University’s responsibility to ensure that the identity and the employment eligibility of all persons employed by the University, including student workers, is reviewed and that the persons are eligible for employment. Hiring departments are responsible for compliance with I-9 and e-Verify documentation and verification requirements. Students may not perform any work until all steps of the hiring process are completed.

Student workers must be currently enrolled at the University of Arizona and actively attending classes in accordance with the enrollment requirements below. Student workers must continue to be enrolled for the appropriate number of units for the duration of student employment. Incoming students who have not yet begun classes, or graduating students who have completed their last exams or course requirements, are not eligible for student employment.

Student workers may be eligible for a Federal Work-Study (FWS) award as part of their financial aid package, but student workers are not required to be work-study eligible. To review eligibility criteria and find more information, visit

Enrollment Requirements

It is the employing department’s responsibility to verify that a student worker meets the following minimum enrollment requirements each semester of student employment.

Fall Semester: Minimum enrollment of 6 credit hours.

Spring Semester: Minimum enrollment of 6 credit hours.

Summer Session:  Minimum enrollment of

  •  at least 3 credit hours during Summer Session; or,
  •  if not enrolled in at least 3 credit hours during Summer Session, the student must have completed at least 6 credit hours during the previous Spring semester and be registered for at least 6 credit hours for the following Fall semester.

Winter Session:  Minimum enrollment of

  • at least 3 credit hours during Winter Session; or,
  • if not enrolled in at least 3 credit hours during Winter Session, the student must have completed at least 6 credit hours during the previous Fall semester and be registered for at least 6 credit hours for the following Spring semester.

Additional Considerations

Online Courses: Online courses for credit at the University of Arizona count toward the minimum enrollment requirements.

Short Sessions: Students are considered enrolled in courses on a semester-by-semester basis, even if the course convenes for only certain weeks of a semester.  Students who meet the minimum enrollment requirements, as outlined above, may continue as student workers for the duration of the semester.

International Students: To work at the University, international students must have a valid immigration status that allows student employment. International students must be enrolled in the minimum credit hour requirements described above to be eligible for student employment and may have additional enrollment requirements based on their immigration status.  In addition, J-1 international students must request authorization from International Student Services before they begin employment.  Contact International Student Services for more information.

Student Residence Hall Assistants: Student Residence Hall Assistants have additional eligibility and enrollment requirements. Contact Residence Life for more information.

Concurrent Employment: A student worker is not eligible for simultaneous university staff, classified staff, or appointed personnel employment at the University of Arizona. Also, a student worker in a Student Group B, C, or D classification is not eligible for simultaneous employment as a graduate assistant/associate.

Former University Staff, Classified Staff or Appointed University of Arizona Employees: Individuals with previous employment may be required to participate in mandatory retirement and/or benefits plans, and as a result, may not be eligible for a student worker position. Hiring departments with recent (within the last fiscal year), former university staff, classified staff, and/or appointed personnel seeking student worker positions should consult with the Human Resources to determine eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions*

Why are the credit hour requirements important?

The Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) requires that any employee who works 20 or more hours per week for 20 weeks in a fiscal year (July 1­–June 30) must participate in the ASRS retirement plan. This requirement does not apply to student workers at the University, but only if they are enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits).

What happens if an individual in a student worker position does not meet the enrollment requirement?

On reaching 20 weeks of employment at 20 hours per week, the student worker must be employed in a non-student-worker employment category.

What employment options are available if a student does not meet the enrollment requirements of this policy?

Students may apply for non-student positions at the University of Arizona posted on UArizona Talent.

What training is necessary for student workers?

All student workers must take the online Public Service Orientation and the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment training. Graduate Assistants and Associates have additional training requirements listed in the GA Manual. A department may also have additional job-specific training requirements.

Related Information*

The Unenrolled Student Workers Dashboard, located on the Business Manager home page in UAccess Analytics displays student workers who are not enrolled at the UA or are enrolled in fewer than 6 credit hours. These students should not be employed in student worker positions. Data are up-to-date as of the prior Sunday.

The Retirement Eligibility Dashboard, also on the Business Manager home page in UAccess Analytics, displays ancillary employees, student workers, and graduate assistants/associates (GAs) who are approaching retirement eligibility. Additional information and instructions on using this dashboard.

International Student Services Employment Information

Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website

Revision History*

12/01/2023: Updated responsible unit email address.

02/17/2022: The link for where students apply for non-student positions in the third FAQ was changed from UA Careers to UArizona Talent.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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