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What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. government to keep track of earnings and determine the correct rate of tax withholding. It is required by all employers in order to pay employees for any work they do. 


For more information on Social Security numbers, please see the Frequently Asked Questions in this section.

*Please be advised that individuals without a Social Security number (SSN) are not authorized to work in any capacity at MassArt until a SSN is provided to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources is located in the Tower Building, Room 806 and can also be contacted by emailing It is the student’s responsibility to give the SSN to the Human Resources Office as soon as it is received in order to avoid any delays in starting on-campus work or receiving payment.

When Can I Apply for a Social Security Number?

F-1 International Students are legally able to apply for an SSN under one of the following circumstances: