Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security Number.
How Do I Apply for a Social Security Number?
The only way to get a SSN is to get an on-campus job (You can see campus jobs listing here). After you are hired, you will need to stop by our office to get an employment letter. Then you will take that letter to your supervisor to fill out. Then you will return the letter to our office. You will need a social security number if you plan on getting paid from your job through a bank account, and some car dealerships also require one.
In order to issue a Social Security Number, the Social Security Administration requires evidence that you are eligible to work in the U.S., that you are a full-time student, and that you have received a formal offer of on-campus employment, or have been authorized for off-campus employment through Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, or Academic Training. The Social Security Administration must also verify your immigration documents and status with Immigration before issuing the Social Security number. Note that new students may not apply for an SSN earlier than 10 business days after arriving in the U.S.