Hiring a Student

​Information about hiring student employees.

Student Eligibility

Student appointments are intended for those who are enrolled in at least 18 credits in the winter session and a minimum of 9 credits minimum for summer. Students must be enrolled in classes @ 80% for all terms that they will be working. For example, students working during the summer term must be enrolled in classes over the summer term. Since many programs do not have classes over the summer, many students will not meet this eligibility criteria.  

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to ensure that the student meets these eligibility qualifications and to confirm student workers maintain a full-time level of studies. If a student drops or withdraws from courses, causing the number of credits to fall below the full-time requirement the department must terminate the student’s employment.  

A student is no longer considered a student after his/her convocation date. However, in practice, we have allowed students to continue working until the end of the term. For example, if a student’s convocation is in May, he/she could continue in her/her student appointment until the end of August. If a student’s convocation is in November, he/she could continue his/her student appointment until the end of December. 

Types of Student Appointments

Information about common types of student appointments, such as Graduate Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants and Undergraduate Academic Assistants or Teaching Assistants, is available on the UBC HR website (scroll to the bottom of the page). The information includes the affiliation, examples of typical duties and when it is appropriate to hire the different types of student appointments.

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are required for all student positions and should be entered into the position management system as payroll requires a position management number to complete the hire process. For information on how to enter job descriptions into the position management system click here.  

Job descriptions must be clear and complete. This is necessary for two reasons:  

  1. In order for the student employee and manager to have a clear understanding of the work that is expected.
  2. To provide the necessary documentation of the student’s work to ensure that the type of work reserved under various Collective Agreements is not being done by students. If a position essentially performs work typically considered of a bargaining unit, the applicable collective agreement must be observed. The student would become a union member.

While a student position may not be covered by a collective agreement, the provision of applicable employment related legislation including safety, and University policies and handbooks apply. 

International Students

International students studying at UBC who are in possession of a valid student visa are eligible for student work opportunities provided by UBC. They do not require any further permission from the federal government to work on campus. If an international student is studying at another Canadian institution, he/she must have an off-campus work permit in order to work for UBC.  

International Students in the Work Learn program may work no more than 10 hours/week for a total of 150 hours/term in the winter session and 12-20 hours/week for a total of 300 hours in the summer session. Students may only accept one Work Learn position in the Winter Session and one in the Summer Session. For more information visit the Work Study/Work Learn website

SIN Numbers

All students, whether international students or not, must have a SIN before they can be paid by UBC. The SIN is not an employment authorization, it registers the student with Revenue Canada so that statutory deductions will be recorded properly. Click here to find out information on how to apply for a SIN. 

Employment for Spouses of Students 

Spouses of registered students may apply for an Employment Authorization and seek employment in the general labour market in Canada provided that they can provide proof of legal marriage, (i.e. marriage certificate in English) and that their spouse holds a valid Study Permit. The duration of the spouse’s Employment Authorization will be the same as the duration of the student’s Study Permit. For more information on spousal employment click here.  

International Students Employment following Graduation

International students may accept education-related employment for up to a maximum of one year following graduation. In order to obtain a work permit, they must provide evidence of graduation (or successful completion of a degree program) from a Canadian post-secondary institution showing course completed and the offer of employment. Employment must begin within sixty days of graduation and must be consistent with the student’s area of study. 

For graduate students, the date of graduation is defined as the date on which all requirements for the degree have been completed: all marks must have been submitted and, for students on thesis programs, the thesis has been submitted to the Library. Students may obtain a letter indicating that they have completed their degree requirements from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. 

Student Hours of Work

Undergraduate students can work a maximum of 10-12 hours per week in UBC jobs depending on the type of employment. The UBC Central HR website has more information on maximum hours. Graduate students may work a maximum of 12 hours per week in UBC positions.  

A student with more than one UBC student appointment cannot work combined total hours beyond the maximum. 

To avoid any issues over the maximum hours when a student is working more than one position, ensure the Student Appointment form clearly indicates the percentage of the appointment and the number of hours being worked per week.  

Student Employment Programs

There are several funded programs designed to create jobs for students: 

Work Study/Work Learn

UBC Work Study is a wage-subsidy program for domestic students while Work Learn is the same type of wage-subsidy program for international students. For every qualified student hired through Work Study or Work Learn, UBC contributes $9 per hour to the student’s wage, the supervisor pays the remaining amount, for up to 150 hours per term. Limited funding is available so be sure to apply early!

Canada Summer Jobs Program

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) is a new initiative of the Summer Work Experience Program, funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Formerly called the Summer Career Placement Program, it provides wage subsidies to help Canadian employers of not-for-profit, public-sector and smaller private-sector organizations create career-related summer jobs for students. The program is focused on encouraging employers to create jobs that not only meet their needs, but benefit young people who need jobs the most. 

Employers are eligible to receive a subsidy for up to 50 percent of the provincial adult minimum hourly wage. Jobs must be full-time (30-40 hours per week) and six to 16 weeks in duration. The application period is usually in February to submit to Service Canada.  


Co-op student appointments are different from other student appointments due to the formal academic aspect. Students must apply to the Co-op program and meet the program guidelines in order to be accepted into the program. To be eligible for a Co-op student appointment position, a student must be enrolled in a Co-op program from a Canadian institution. 

More information about hiring a Co-op student can be found on the UBC central HR website. For information about hiring students from a specific academic program visit the UBC Co-op website.  

Student Offer Letter

Departments are responsible for creating student offer letters. The letter should indicate:
  • Pay
  • Hours of work
  • Duration of appointment
  • Outline job description 

Complete and forward a Student Appointment form to your department administrator or HR representative, and they will forward to payroll once reviewed.  

Benefits for Students

Students are not entitled to benefits unless they are employed in staff positions in which case eligibility is determined by the applicable collective agreement or handbook

Calculating Benefit Costs for Students

Ensure sufficient funding is available for all student employees including the cost of all associated benefits. The Benefits Cost Calculator determines the costs of benefits and statutory deductions costs for student employees.

Student Statutory Holiday Pay

If a student meets the eligibility requirements under the BC Employment Standards guidelines, he/ she is eligible to receive statutory holiday pay. Essentially, he/ she must have been employed by UBC for 30 days before the statutory holiday and have worked or earned wages on 15 of the 30 days immediately before the statutory holiday. Most students will not meet the second requirement.  

Also see information related to student vacation pay and student sick time.