Graduate study at Princeton, at both the doctoral and, in most cases, the master’s level, requires full-time commitment to study and research on the part of students. The Graduate School’s financial support structure, which extends throughout the length of the student’s program and ordinarily includes summers, is one indication of that requirement. Accordingly, the Graduate School considers employment beyond full fellowship, teaching or research support or its equivalent to be incompatible with full-time graduate study.
Should a student and that student’s departmental adviser(s) believe that additional part-time employment is both professionally relevant and necessary and also unlikely to hinder timely progress towards the degree, the student may, on a case-by-case basis, request approval for exceptions to this policy. In no case should students still enrolled and receiving full financial support toward their degree program work more over the course of a semester or the summer than an average of 10 additional hours per week (which may include teaching at most one course at another institution). Arrangements for such additional part-time employment must be approved by the departmental director of graduate studies and, where the student has already passed the general examination, the student’s dissertation adviser. If the department offers the student an Assistantship in Instruction (AI) appointment or an Assistantship in Research (AR) appointment, the student must accept the AI and/or AR appointment as the primary obligation and form of support.
International students here on a student visa are limited by federal regulations to no more than 20 hours of employment per week, which includes AI and/or AR appointments and any on- or off-campus work. In addition, international students may not accept off-campus employment without authorization from the Office of Visa Services (for example, in the case of employment related to CPT courses), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, in the case of OPT eligible employment), or the J-1 program sponsor.
This policy last updated by the Policy Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee of the Graduate School on May 21, 2014.