Guide to Student Employment



Guide to Student Employment

Finding a Student Job

Finding a rewarding and fulfilling job at Harvard is simple, and we’re here to help. The Student Employment Office (SEO) maintains a database of job opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their financial aid status. Job opportunities are plentiful and wide-ranging, both on and off campus.

On campus, you can work with a faculty member as a research assistant, lead tours for the Admissions Office, work in the stacks at one of more than 60 libraries, or learn to run a business at the student operated Harvard Student Agencies. Off campus, you can tutor and mentor high school students in the Boston area, conduct research at Massachusetts General Hospital, help the homeless at a local shelter, or babysit for a local family.

Whatever your interests may be, there is likely a job available. Start your search by visiting the jobs database to connect with employers both on and off-campus.

Learn more on the Student Employment Office website.

Finding a Research Opportunity

Many students pursue a research opportunity instead of a standard job. There are a variety of opportunities for undergraduates to pursue research projects – either independently or as a research assistant for a faculty member. Some positions are paid while others are volunteer, and some research opportunities qualify for funding to which you apply separately. Graduate students are encouraged to speak directly with faculty members at their particular school to inquire about available positions.

Start by searching the Jobs Database for these paid positions. Since not all faculty members or departments use the SEO Jobs Database to post positions, you may also want to visit individual academic department websites to see if positions are posted there or contact a faculty member directly. 

Pursue an independent research project with a Harvard faculty member as a research mentor and apply for funding to support your endeavors. Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for more information and consult the Funding Database -also known as CARAT- to learn more about specific grants.

Discuss this option (often as a 91R) with your academic advisor or Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Interested in just getting started with research? Have a specific professor to work with in mind? Consider asking your professor to apply for the Faculty Aide Program, which provides funding to let you work on a faculty member’s research project.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) is a federally-funded financial aid program available to US citizens and permanent residents. The mandate of the program is to assist students with the cost of their college education by providing a subsidy to employers for part-time student employment. The program is dependent on the student applying for financial aid through the FAFSA and qualifying based on their financial need.

Many students are confused by the term ‘work-study’ and think that they are eligible for this benefit simply based on the grounds that they are working while studying at college. In fact, FWSP refers specifically to the federally-funded financial aid program designed to help students meet their education costs by making it easier to find part-time on and off campus jobs. Search for FWSP jobs in the Jobs Database.

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