Services for International Students and Scholars

Stipended Graduate Assistantships (SGA)

Eligible F-1 and J-1 students in graduate programs may be able to receive a Stipended Graduate Assistantships (SGA) through their department.  These awards generally include a stipend, tuition remission and health plan.  For specific information about receiving an SGA, please check with your Graduate School.

Please note, if you have a position on campus that is titled “Assistant” (ie. Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant), but you are paid hourly through the Student Employment Office, then you most likely do not have an SGA.  An SGA is a package offered through the department and you will receive a letter that outlines the detail of the SGA.

Students who have been awarded a Stipended Graduate Assistantship (SGA) will need to request an SGA Social Security Number Letter from the Office of Global Services (OGS) which must be signed by a Designated School Official (DSO). To apply for a letter, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Complete the SGA Social Security Number Letter Request. You will be asked to provide information such as the College where you will be providing services and your start date.

Step 2: A DSO or ARO from the OGS will review and sign the letter, as long as your college as confirmed that you have an SGA. An e-mail will be sent to you once the letter is ready for pick-up.

Step 3: Present the letter to the Social Security Administration in order to apply for a Social Security Number. For detailed instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number, refer to the Social Security Number (SSN) section of the OGS website. Please note, the processing time for the SGA Social Security Number Letter is five business days. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the OGS if there are any changes to his/her SGA.

Am I eligible to do CPT while I am on an SGA?

No.  You are not eligible to do CPT while you are also receiving an SGA.  If your SGA is not valid over the summer, then you may be eligible to engage in CPT during the summer period only.

Can I work on-campus while I am on an SGA?

No, you cannot work on-campus during the semesters that you are receiving an SGA.  If you do not on an SGA over the summer, then you may work on campus during the summer period while the SGA is not valid.

Can I do Pre-OPT while I am on an SGA?

No, you cannot participate in Pre-OPT while you are on an SGA.  If you will not receive the SGA during the summer period, then you may be able to apply for Pre-OPT during the summer only.