Academic Training

Academic training (AT) is designed to allow J-1 students the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off-campus. It is available as full- or part-time employment to those in both degree and non-degree programs. Academic training can be paid or unpaid, and can be used before or after the completion of the academic program.

Students in J-1 status wishing to gain AT authorization should contact International Services to schedule an appointment to meet with an international student advisor to discuss the eligibility requirements and application procedures.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be in valid J-1 status and in good academic standing at the school named on your Form DS-2019;
  • Academic training must be done with a specific employer/training site;
  • The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study;
  • Written approval must be obtained in advance from your academic advisor  for the duration of academic training; and
  • If your post-completion academic training will be unpaid, you must prove you have adequate financial support for yourself and J-2 dependents (if any).

Time Limitations for Academic Training

  • Academic Training employment may not exceed the period of full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter. However, if you receive a Ph.D. and acquire a post-doctoral training position, you are allowed a maximum of 36 months of Academic Training.
  • Part-time Academic Training counts against the amount of full-time employment available. Example, if you are on a 12-month academic program, then you are eligible for 12 months of Academic Training. If you use 6 months of part-time Academic Training before you finished your academic program, then you only have 6 months of full-time Academic Training left after the academic program.
  • Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for Academic Training.

Authorization Deadline

If you are hoping to utilize the AT benefit, it is important you apply for the benefit prior to the end of your J program or graduation, whichever is sooner. You must receive the AT authorization approval from International Services prior to starting the training opportunity and the start-date must be within 30 days of your program end-date. Those who begin the employment before receiving approval are considered to have violated their status. 

How to Apply for AT

Complete IS-245 Form and submit to International Services ( and include:

  • Copy of the signed job offer letter printed on the company’s official letterhead. The letter should include:
    • Job title;
    • Dates of employment;
    • Address of actual employment location;
    • Number of work hours per week (and salary, if any); and
    • 3-4 major duties that you will perform.
  • Copies of your current and previous DS-2019(s);
  • Copies of passport pages (biographical data, photo, and expiration date) and Copy of your current I-94 card (front and back);
  • Completed and signed IS-206 Form, along with a copy of up-to-date health insurance card and relevant paperwork;
  • Copy of all previously-issued Academic Training authorization letter(s) for your current academic level, if any.
  • If the position is unpaid, financial statements supporting the duration of AT should also be included

Responsibilities while on Academic Training

Failing to maintain the requirements below are considered to be a violation of status. 

  • Maintain adequate insurance coverage as defined in the IS-206 form for you and all dependents
  • Reside primarily in the U.S. for the purpose of Academic Training
  • Report change of address, name through the iStart Portal
  • Report termination of employment by emailing 
  • Request a new Academic Training authorization for any changes to employment (purpose, employer, location, etc.)