Policies & Guidelines-Career and Professional Development Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Policies & Guidelines

Student Employment Eligibility

A student employee is defined as “an individual whose employment at the university is incidental to the pursuit of obtaining a degree.” Any student who is enrolled at least half-time (18 units) in a degree-granting program at Carnegie Mellon can participate in the campus employment program. To qualify to work during the summer session, the student must be admitted to, or continuing in, a degree-granting program at Carnegie Mellon

Work Hours

Although students may work a total of 40.0  hours per week, most student employees at Carnegie Mellon work an average of 9-12 hours per week. International students with certain visa types are permitted by immigration regulations to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40.0 hours per week during summer and winter vacations. (For more information about on-campus employment regulations for international students, please contact Office of International Education at 8-3520).

Meal Period and Breaks

Meal periods and breaks should be coordinated by the student’s supervisor. A student employee who is expected to work a full day (7.5 continuous hours) should be permitted an unpaid meal period of at least one half-hour, but not more than one hour.

Scheduled breaks are optional at Carnegie Mellon and are determined by each department. Student employees working more than 4 consecutive hours should be allowed comparable rest periods where they are established for support staff in a departmental work unit. The supervisor should inform all employees of the break policy in their area. If scheduled, breaks are limited to 15 minutes per day and are paid.

University Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmation Action

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EEO/AA).

The University is committed to basing its employment decisions on the principle of equal employment opportunity. All personnel actions are administered in accordance with the university’s commitment to non-discrimination. Further, the university is committed to affirmative action to attract qualified candidates for employment who are minority, female, individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era; to ensuring that bona fide job-related and valid requirements are used to evaluate employees for promotion and applicants for employment; and to complying with applicable federal, state, and local laws, statutes, orders and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or non-job-related disability. For more information about this commitment and related issues, please click on “Equal Opportunity” from the Human Resources website. [Questions concerning this policy or its intent should be directed to Everett Tademy, Director for Equal Opportunity Programs, 8-2012.]

Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of Carnegie Mellon that no member of the University community may sexually harass another. Carnegie Mellon is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and intellectual development of all members of the community. To read the university policy against sexual harassment, click here

On-the-Job Injuries

All Carnegie Mellon employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation for physical injuries and occupational diseases that arise out of and in the course and scope of employment. Workers’ Compensation was not designed to cover all of the workers’ health problems; it does, however, provide a wide range of benefits for work related injuries and illnesses. The employee has definite legal responsibilities that are required to establish a claim for compensation. For more information about on-the-job injuries and workers’ compensation, please click on “Employment/Job Info” and then on “Workers’ Compensation” from the Human Resources website. [You may also refer to “Human Resources: A Guide” for more information, or call 8-4747].

Work Without Compensation

Due to liability issues and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), students are not eligible to volunteer in a position that normally receives monetary compensation or academic credit. This includes those students not eligible for a work-study award and students who have reached their award limit. For more information on this and other policies, please refer to the student handbook, The Word.


When working on campus, your student employees may have access to confidential information about other students, employees, or the university. It is strongly suggested that students be required to sign a confidentiality agreement which states that they may not share or disclose this information under any circumstances. A sample agreement which you may use is available on the Student Employment website. Disclosing confidential information can be hurtful and irresponsible—and is grounds for immediate dismissal from the position. In general, confidential information is any information that students would not have access to if not for a campus position. For more information on developing a confidentiality agreement or policy, contact Pati Kravetz, Director of Student Employment, at pk13@andrew.cmu.edu.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) states school officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records by third parties without the written permission of the student unless such inspection is permitted by the exceptions written in the act. This means that a school official may review a student’s educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.

It is important for campus employers to remember this when interviewing and hiring student employees. Student Information System (SIS) access does not guarantee you the right to access a student’s personal information, grades, and/or course schedule.

If you feel that a student’s grades may affect employment, you may include a waiver on your application form.

An example is provided:

I hereby give authorization for
<Department Name> to access my grade history for the purpose of employment consideration.

0 Yes 0 No
Student Signature     Date

To download the university policy pertaining to the maintenance of confidential and restricted data, visit Carnegie Mellon's policy page.

For additional information on FERPA, please contact
Enrollment Services, Warner Hall 19, Phone: 8-8186
Fax: 8-8084, Email: thehub@andrew.cmu.edu.

Privacy Policy

The policy regarding privacy of student information is available in full on-line at Carnegie Mellon's policy page.
What follows is a summary of the policy. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students have the right to:
• inspect and review their education records;
• request an amendment to their education records if they believe the records are inaccurate or misleading;
• request a hearing if their request for an amendment is not resolved to their satisfaction;
• consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without their consent;
• file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office if they believe their rights under FERPA have been violated.