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Home : Human Resources : Hiring

Student Employment

Effective Date: January 2007
Last Update: May 2008
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Human Resources
Policy Owner:
  • Manager - Student and Graduate Assistant Employment & Services and Regents Scholarship Program
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


The University has established a system of student employment as defined in this policy. Student employees are those individuals registered for classes who hold employment in non-academic student positions and undergraduate academic teaching and research assistant positions. All qualified University students are accorded fair and equal opportunity to enter and continue in University employment on the basis of eligibility and qualifications.

Provisions and Terms


This policy governs the employment of students at the University. Excluded from coverage is the employment of students in Graduate Assistant positions.

Administration of Student Employment

  1. Student Employment Administrator

    Each campus will designate a person to be responsible for student employment who will discharge all duties imposed by the policies and rules for the government of student employment. Within this policy, this position will be referred to as the Student Employment Administrator.

  2. Student Employment Policies and Procedures

    The Vice President for Human Resources will be responsible for revising student employment policies and procedures. Such policies and procedures will be made available online for students and supervisors/responsible administrators employing students.

  3. Policy Violation

    It is in violation of student employment policy, to (1) refuse to hire a student; (2) maintain a system of employment that unreasonably excludes students from employment; or (3) discriminate against a student with respect to hire, employment terms, promotion, or privileges of employment. A person in the University service may not encourage or compel, or attempt to encourage or compel, any action forbidden by the University.

Student Employment Advisory Committee

A Student Employment Advisory Committee (SEAC) will be established on each campus. This committee is composed of a small number of representatives including students, individuals from units that hire student employees, and the campus Student Employment Administrator. SEAC will advise the Vice President of Human Resources on student employment policy, work rules, and compensation governing student employment on each campus.


Discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation is prohibited under Board of Regents Policy: Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action.

Eligibility for Student Employment

  1. Registration Requirements

    Student enrollment is a prerequisite for gaining, and a condition of continuing, a student employment appointment in a University position. A student must be enrolled for a minimum number of credits in order to be eligible for appointment to a student employment position. Refer to Appendix: Student Employment Work Rules for specific information.

  2. Loss of Eligibility

    Students who graduate, leave school, or who fail to meet registration requirements will lose eligibility for student employment. Student employees who lose student employment eligibility will be immediately terminated from student employment.

Student Employment Opportunity Priority

All University jobs of 29 hours or less per week are to be posted as a student position. University students have first priority for any vacant University position of 29 hours or less per week. The campus student employment administrator or delegate may waive this requirement using UM 1524: Request for Waiver to Hire a Non-Student Employee (pdf) when it appears that University students are not available to fill a position.

Student Employee Classification

Student employee appointments fall within one broadbanded student classification under one of eleven student employment job families. Refer to the generic job description database for a complete description of all student job classifications.


  1. Salary Program

    The University seeks to maintain student employee salaries that are both internally and externally competitive, as well as fairly administered, in order to attract and retain student employees. Salary ranges are determined by the supervisor/responsible administrator with minimum rate and guidelines established by the Office of Human Resources.

  2. Salary Range or Rate

    There is one broad salary range for all non-academic employees with a set minimum rate determined for each campus. The Twin Cities campus and each of the coordinate campuses may be positioned under the same or separate compensation plans. The maximum pay rate is open to the discretion of the employing department. Refer to Average Student Wages for salary information.

  3. Undergraduate Academic Teaching and Research Assistant Positions

    Compensation for undergraduate teaching and research assistant positions is provided through a recommended multiple step rate schedule. Refer to Academic Salary Floors – [current fiscal year] for specific information.

  4. Discretionary Increases

    Each campus, college, or administrative unit may establish employee eligibility criteria for one or more of the following optional, discretionary wage increases: a) recurring increases within the salary range; and b) achievement awards in the form of one-time lump sum payments. Refer to Pay Plans [Current Year] – Non-Academic (Undergraduate) Students Twin Cities, or for other campuses, the appropriate campus employment office for additional information.

Probationary Employment Period

A 260 work hour probationary period will be served by every student employee hired regardless of whether such employment occurs as an initial or new appointment, including when moving to a new level within the same job family or when moving to a new job family. 260 work hours will be defined as consecutive hours worked in a position within a department. Refer to the following section of this policy for additional information: DISCIPLINE, TERMINATION, AND PROTECTION FROM RETALIATION; A. Termination of Appointment during Probationary Period.

In the case of a reclassification, no probationary period is required unless requested in writing by the supervisor, and approved by the campus Student Employment Administrator.

Reclassification of Individual Positions

When changes in the duties and responsibilities of individual positions occur due to changes in organization, work, staffing requirements, or technology, a reclassification is permitted with departmental approval. Departments must document and keep a record of the reasons for the change in classification with a copy sent to the Office of Human Resources, Compensation department. Reclassification information is to be captured in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) database by entry of the classification change and the appropriate Action/Reason code.

Performance Evaluation

  1. Evaluation

    Supervisors are encouraged to rate the quality and quantity of their student employee’s work, typically during the probationary period, and subsequently after that time period in accordance with departmental practice. The UM 1544 Student Employee Performance Evaluation form is available at If an evaluation is completed, the supervisor is to meet with the student to share the rating and discuss performance. Ongoing communication with student employees about their performance is expected.

  2. Personnel File Record

    The written evaluation is to be filed in the student's departmental personnel file. The student has the right to review any information in that file including evaluations, comments made by supervisors and any others, and any letters relating to work or performance ratings.

Authorized Leave of Absence

  1. Unpaid Leaves of Absence

    Student employees are eligible for unpaid leaves of absence to include, but not limited to: vacation, sick leave, bereavement leave, jury duty, and military leave.

    1. Vacation: Student employees may be absent from work without pay for reasons of vacation as approved by the supervisor.
    2. Sick Leave: Student employees may be absent from work without pay for reasons of employee sickness as approved by the supervisor.
    3. Bereavement Leave: Student employees may be absent from work without pay for reasons of bereavement as approved by the supervisor.
    4. Jury Duty: Student employees will be granted unpaid leaves of absence by their supervisor for required jury duty.
    5. Military Leave: Student employees will be granted an unpaid leave of absence for required service in the National Guard or military reserve up to a maximum of 15 work days in a calendar year.
  2. Paid Leaves of Absence

    Student employees are eligible for a paid leave of absence to vote in any state-wide general election or state-wide primary election, or in any election to fill a vacancy in the office of a United States senator or representative during the morning of the election day. Paid leaves to vote will cover only those hours the employee is regularly scheduled to work and will be reasonable in relation to voting site location and distance. As federal and state Work-Study regulations do not permit payment for hours not actually worked, work-study students must be granted upon request an unpaid leave of absence to vote in elections as described here.

  3. General Regulations

    Requests for leaves of absence will be submitted in writing to the supervisor for approval within a reasonable period of time prior to commencement of the leave. In cases of illness or emergencies, the supervisor is to be notified as soon as possible according to departmental procedures. All leaves of absence of more than five regularly scheduled workdays must be documented by the department.

  4. Work-Study Employees

    Work-study employees are eligible for unpaid leaves of absence if the leave is up to, but not beyond the period of financial aid eligibility within the fiscal year. Federal and state work-study regulations specify that students employed under the Work-Study Program may be paid only for actual hours worked. Refer to 2013-2014 Employer's Guide to Student Employment and Work-Study (pdf) or 2012-2013 Employer's Guide to Student Employment and Work-Study (pdf).

Discipline, Termination, and Protection from Retaliation

  1. Termination of Appointment during Probationary Period

    If the supervisor determines during the probationary period that the student employee's appointment will not be continued, the employee may be discharged with a written notice of termination. Just cause is not required for termination of a probationary appointment. It is strongly encouraged student employees are given a performance appraisal mid-way through their probationary period. Such termination cannot be grieved except under discrimination as defined under the DISCRIMINATION section of this policy and within the related Board of Regents policy.

  2. Discipline

    Supervisors may only discipline student employees for just cause. Supervisors will maintain a record of disciplinary action. Disciplinary action will become effective upon the supervisor’s communication of the action to the student Employee. A student employee may appeal any disciplinary action in accordance with Board of Regents Policy: Conflict Resolution Process for Employees (pdf).

  3. Termination

    The following rules will apply:

    1. Student employees may be terminated from their position for just cause. In such cases, the employee will receive a written statement of reason for termination. The termination may be appealed in accordance with Board of Regents Policy: Conflict Resolution Process for Employees.
    2. Student employees who misrepresented their eligibility for holding a student appointment can be terminated. Students may appeal such a decision in accordance with Board of Regents Policy: Conflict Resolution Process for Employees.
    3. Student employees absent without authorization for three consecutive work days on which the employee is scheduled to work will be considered as having resigned.
    4. Student employees may be terminated from their position due to the elimination of the position, a shortage of work or funds, or for other reasons beyond the student employee's control which do not reflect discredit on the student employee's services.
  4. Protection from Retaliation

    Supervisors may not take disciplinary action against a student employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of any federal or state law or regulation to a governmental body or law enforcement official. Disciplinary action may not be taken against a student employee who is requested by a public agency to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry, as well as a student employee who refuses to participate in any activity that the employee, in good faith, believes violates any federal or state law or rule or regulation adopted pursuant to law.

Health and Safety

  1. Health and Safety Standards

    At the time of hire or re-employment, student employees will be informed by their supervisors of the Minnesota Employee’s Right-to-Know Act (MERTKA), regarding potentially hazardous substances or situations encountered in the workplace. Departments are responsible for providing and maintaining work areas that meet with health and safety standards required by state and federal law.

  2. Report of Accident or Injury

    Student employees will immediately report on-the-job accidents and injuries to their supervisors. The UM 1536: First Report of Injury (pdf) form must be completed and submitted according to procedure.


This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Employee Group Definitions. A system of student employment is provided by the University for the primary purpose of providing financial assistance to students and secondarily, to offer academic and career development opportunities. Conversely, employment of students supports the University in providing help to departments in carrying out certain tasks for which they are responsible.





  1. In the case of posting a position of 29 hours or less, is it allowable to post a student position and an appropriately classified civil service or bargaining unit staff position simultaneously?

    Yes, it is permissible to post both a student position and a civil service or bargaining unit staff position simultaneously.


General Information or Procedural Assistance
  • Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
  • Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
  • Other (as needed): Office of Human Resources specialist or consultant
Document Processing
  • HRMS Key Contact
  • Office of Human Resources Call Center


The following words and terms, wherever used in this policy, will have the meaning indicated below.

A descriptive title given to a position or a group of positions of sufficiently similar mix or range of responsibilities or job duties.
Compensation Plan
The policies and procedures which govern student employment compensation for a particular fiscal year.
Discretionary Increase
A wage increase (incremental, percentage, or lump sum) which may vary in amount from employee to employee within the limits prescribed in the compensation plan and based on job performance.
Just Cause
A ground for discipline and takes into account reasonableness, evidence of forewarning, investigation, proof, consistency, and equity.
Probationary Period
A time period during which a new employee (either new to the University or new to the department) is evaluated by the responsible administrator/supervisor to determine whether the employee can successfully meet the responsibilities assigned to the position.
A change in the classification of an individual position by raising it to a higher class, reducing it to a lower class, or moving it to another class at the same level on the basis of significant changes in the kind, difficulty, or responsibility of the work performed. No probationary period is required unless requested, in writing, by the supervisor and approved by the campus student administrator.
A person who exercises major supervisory functions over the student employee. These functions are hiring, evaluating, assigning work to, disciplining, and dismissing.
The discontinuance of University employment.


  • Designate a Student Employment Administrator.
  • Establish a Student Employment Advisory Committee.
  • Classify the work responsibilities appropriately.
  • Have knowledge of the policies and procedures governing the student employee group;
  • Determine work hours.
  • Provide a copy of the policy and work rules; inform the student employee of the work schedule and performance standards (refer to Human Resources Template Letter Library).
  • Provide regular performance reviews (optional).
Student Employees
  • Be aware of the policies governing student employment at the University.
  • Understand department work rules, work schedule, and performance standards.
  • Perform work as assigned.
  • Inform the supervisor/responsible administrator if discontinuing work.



May 2008 - Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies.
August 2006 - Student employment policy information extracted from Board of Regents Policy: Student Employment at the University and the Twin Cities Student Employment Rules. Edits were made; information was updated and expanded where appropriate and put in standard University-wide policy format. Repetition of policy information available in other policies was eliminated with appropriate references made. Work Rules information and processes were streamlined.

The following are particular revisions to note:

  • A Student Employment Advisory Committee for each campus has been created and replaces the former Student Employee Committee on each campus; and
  • Student job reclassifications are now approved at the department level.

The Administrative Policy: Student Employment supersedes previous student employment policy and rule information:

March 1989
November 1998 - Twin Cities Campus Student Employment Rules.
November 1998
July 1981 - Board of Regents Policy: Student Employment at the University.
January 2007

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on October 2, 2013