Carnegie Mellon University

Non-Pittsburgh Location Student Workers

Before Your First Day

Congratulations on becoming a student worker* at Carnegie Mellon University! There are several steps you must take before you begin working. Please be sure to complete the steps below in the order they are listed to help ensure your student worker onboarding is done in a timely manner.

* Please note that students of other institutions who are employed at Carnegie Mellon should refer to the resources for Faculty and Staff.

When accepting an offer, you should discuss the specifics of your job with your hiring manager, such as when you will begin working, if you need to log hours, and how many hours you are expected to work each week. All of this information will then be entered into Workday, CMU’s human resources, payroll, benefits and time tracking system.

After accepting the job offer, your hiring department will process your hire in Workday. This will initiate the onboarding tasks in your Workday inbox. If you haven't already, you will need to register for DUO Two-Factor Authentication in order to successfully log into Workday.

Additional Information for International Student Workers

  • F-1 and J-1 students may work on campus 20 hours or fewer per week while school is in session and full time during vacation terms or official school breaks.
  • F-1 students do not require additional permission for on-campus work.
  • J-1 students must have permission from their program sponsor prior to beginning on-campus employment if the employment is not listed as a source of funding on their DS-2019.

For more information on F-1 and J-1 work requirements, please visit the Office of International Education’s website


To comply with federal law, Carnegie Mellon University must verify employment eligibility for all new employees and student workers within three days of hire by obtaining a completed Form I-9 and reviewing original documents that establish identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. In addition, current CMU employees and student workers with expiring work authorization documents must present new work authorization documents before the existing documents expire. 

These requirements apply to all CMU employees and student workers whether they work at a CMU location or remotely at a U.S. location. Refer to the Form I-9 and E-Verify page for more information and instructions. 

Certain individuals who present a List A document, such as nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors, must present additional documentation in order to prove their work authorization in the U.S. For information on additional documentation requirements, please visit additional document requirements on the USCIS website.

Employees and student workers assigned to work on a federally funded project must also be E-Verified. Your department will provide you with the necessary form to present to the HR Service Center if E-Verify is required for your position. 

Every employee and student worker must provide their Social Security number for accurate payroll processing and proper tax filing per IRS guidelines. This requirement also applies to resident and nonresident alien employees.

You must have a Social Security Number to:

  • Ensure accurate taxes are deducted. Non-resident and resident aliens must have a Social Security number in order to complete the Foreign National Information System (FNIS) tax forms. Please see the Complete FNIS Application section below for more information related to FNIS tax treaties.
  • Enroll in university sponsored benefits including health insurance.
  • Enroll in direct deposit for your pay. If you do not have direct deposit, paper checks will be held at the HR Service Center for one month and then mailed to your primary address in Workday.

If you have a Social Security number, you can provide it on your Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Although it is not required to enter your Social Security number on Section 1 of the Form I-9, it is highly encouraged. You can also provide your Social Security number by calling the HR Service Center at 412-268-4600 to verify your identity and provide your Social Security Number.

Foreign nationals who do not have a Social Security number must apply for one as soon as they accept an offer of employment. The Office of International Education has provided Social Security Number Application Instructions [pdf] that outline the application process. 

Refer to the Social Security Administration’s International Students and Social Security Numbers [pdf] for the supporting documents that are required when you visit the local Social Security Office. A multi-language version of the publication is also available.

For more information on applying for a Social Security number, please visit the Office of International Education’s website

You should also complete the following tasks prior to your first day of work:

  • Review Documents. Review the Workers’ Compensation Notice, CMU Intellectual Property Agreement, and the Universal Availability Notice for the Retirement Plan. You must check all boxes to accept the documents on the form and then click submit at the bottom of the page to mark this task as complete.
  • Update Legal Name. Review your legal name in Workday to ensure it is correct or make any necessary changes. Please be sure to click submit on the task in your Workday inbox to mark it as complete. 

Day One and Beyond

Once your I-9 has been finalized by an authorized I-9 verifier and your other onboarding tasks are completed, you will be ready for your first day of work at CMU.

  • To ensure timely payment, the tax and payment elections tasks should be completed as soon as they appear in your Workday inbox. 
  • Tax and payment elections can also be reviewed and updated at any point during your employment at CMU.

After your I-9 is finalized, you will be able to complete your tax elections and set up your payment elections (direct deposit). Employees are required to provide a Social Security number for tax purposes. Your Social Security number must be on file in order to complete the following tasks in Workday:

  • Submit Tax Elections. You will need to complete your federal and state W-4 forms. You may also download the PA-REV-419 form if you live in a reciprocal state and wish to stop Pennsylvania taxes from being withheld. For more information about reciprocal state withholding please see Payroll Taxes FAQs.
  • Submit Payment Elections (Direct Deposit). Until direct deposit is set up and approved, the default payment method is via Wisely ADP Paycard which will be sent to your primary address in Workday. Please note that Wisely ADP paycards will not be mailed internationally. View the Payroll Resources page to learn more about Wisely ADP Paycards.

Special considerations for non-Pittsburgh student workers completing their tax elections: It is important to make sure your work location is correct in Workday. If you are incorrectly categorized as a Pittsburgh employee, you will be charged Pittsburgh city taxes. Please also be sure both your residence and work addresses are correct before completing a new Form W-4, as these addresses are used to determine your home and work tax elections. Any changes to your primary address must be made in Student Information Online (SIO) and will integrate into Workday within 24 hours. Your department will need to make any necessary changes to your work address. 

Missing your Social Security Number? The most efficient way to provide your Social Security number for tax purposes is to include it in Section 1 of your Form I-9. If you did not include it on your Form I-9, you will need to call the HR Service Center at 412-268-4600 to verify your identity and provide your Social Security number. If you have lost your Social Security card, you should apply for a replacement card as soon as possible. Any U.S. citizen, age 18 or older, with a valid driver’s license can apply for a replacement Social Security card online. The Social Security Administration website provides information about replacement Social Security cards.

Nonresident Alien

A nonresident alien subject to wage withholding must give their employer a completed Form W-4 to enable the employer to calculate accurate income tax withholdings.

For Forms W-4 Completed After December 31, 2005 by Nonresident Aliens: 

  1. Select “YES” when asked if you are a Nonresident Alien. This will pre-fill the federal W-4 form to reflect the answers to numbers 2–4 below in the electronic Form W-4. 
  2. Check "Single" marital status on line three, regardless of actual marital status.
  3. Claim only one withholding allowance on line 5, unless you are a resident of Canada, Mexico, South Korea, a U.S. national, or a student or business apprentice from India. 
  4. Do not claim "Exempt" withholding status on line 7. 

For supplemental W-4 instructions for nonresident aliens, please refer to IRS Notice 1392: Supplemental Form W-4 Instructions for Nonresident Aliens [pdf]. To learn more about taxation, view the Foreign National Next Steps Quick Guide [pdf].

Resident Alien

Resident aliens may complete the Form W-4 as desired, but should consult a tax professional for guidance. In general, a resident alien's income is subject to taxation in the same manner as that of a U.S. Citizen.

Resident aliens must report all wages, other compensation for services, and other types of income on the U.S. tax return filing with the IRS. These amounts must be reported whether earned from sources within or outside the United States. 

For additional tax information relevant to International Students and Scholars, please visit  

In addition to being used to complete your onboarding tasks at CMU, Workday allows student workers to view and edit a variety of aspects of their employee account. Quick Guides are available to help you navigate through Workday self-service processes, including:

Visit Student Worker Workday Guides and Resources for the full list of guides and helpful tips related to your Workday account.

Additional Steps and Information for International Student Workers

The following sections contain helpful information for international student workers. 

Foreign National Information System (FNIS) is the online application for Windstar, which permits foreign nationals to provide and submit tax treaty information electronically. If you are a foreign national, the HR Service Center will contact you via email to complete information through FNIS after you have completed your onboarding tasks and have provided a Social Security number. Without this information, we cannot provide you with applicable tax exemptions. 

Exemptions to Social Security and Medicare taxes are only extended to foreign nationals once they have submitted their information via FNIS (Windstar). Payroll can reimburse over-withheld FICA taxes (OASDI and Medicare) only if the FNIS process was completed. Payroll will not reimburse federal withholding. If the IRS sees that a refund of federal withholding is owed, the IRS will issue the refund after taxes are filed in the spring for the previous year.

For more information, please visit the FNIS FAQs

Since your authorization to work in the U.S. is time restricted based on your current status, you will need to provide updated work authorization documents as they become available. You will receive a reminder to present your updated documents a few months before the expiration date of your current work authorization document on file in Workday. 

You do not need to bring in new work authorization documents if you will not be working at CMU after the expiration date of your current documents on file.