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Academic Training

J-1 students are eligible to apply for Academic Training. This is a type of off-campus employment which is directly related to your major to supplement your academic program in the U.S. It is available before and after the completion of your program. As long as you stay within the stipulated time limits, you may work part-time while classes are in session and full-time during vacation periods.

Your academic training must be approved by the Responsible Officer (RO) who issued the DS-2019 or the Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) at the Center for International Education (CIE). The RO/ARO must evaluate the proposed employment to determine whether it fits within the guidelines and goals of the J-1 program.


  • Your main purpose in the U.S. must be to study rather than do “Academic Training.”
  • You must be in good academic standing at the school named on your Form DS-2019.
  • The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
  • Throughout your academic training, you must maintain permission to stay in the U.S. in J-1 status and apply for extensions as necessary.
  • You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents during the length of your “Academic Training.”
  • The employment must be authorized by the academic dean or advisor and the RO/ARO for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training. This cannot exceed the period of a full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter. If you receive a doctoral degree, please contact the CIE for information on an extension.
  • Part-time academic training counts against the 18 month time limit the same as full-time employment. Academic training approved after the completion of your program must be reduced by any prior authorization.

The Application Process

  • Please come to the CIE and pick up the information packet for Academic Training. (124 Hardin Administration Building)
  • Request a letter from your potential employer verifying the offer of employment and how it relates to your major. Sample letters are available in the packet from the CIE.
  • Request a letter from your faculty advisor or dean’s recommendation letter. A sample letter is available in the packet from the CIE.
  • Submit all the documents with your original DS-2019 to the CIE. If the application is approved (and no additional information is needed), the J-1 Responsible Officer will issue a new DS-2019 with authorization for academic training.

*** As a J-1 student you are eligible for a variety of work opportunities in the United States, but employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Remember that before you start any kind of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Responsible Officer, whose written approval is necessary in advance.

Disclaimer: The CIE makes every attempt to provide accurate immigration advice for J-1 students. The information on our website is general and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact an immigration attorney if legal advice is needed. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the rules given by DHS and the University.