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Academic Training

What is Academic Training?

Academic training is work, training, or experience related to a student’s field of study. It may involve sequential or simultaneous activities, either paid or unpaid, with several employers, U.S. or foreign, provided the application and the approval procedures are followed for each employer and activity, and the time limits are not exceeded.


To be eligible for Academic Training a student must:

  • Be in the United States primarily to study rather than engage in academic training. Students may not study for a short time and engage in academic training for a longer period of time.
  • Have their academic training done with a specific employer or training site, and be directly related to the major field of study listed on the DS-2019. A specific description of the training opportunity is required.
  • Receive written approval in advance from the RO for the duration and type of academic training.
  • Be in good academic standing at the school which he/she is authorized to attend

Limitations for Students in Non-Degree Programs

Students in a prescribed course of study in a non-degree program i.e. exchange students to TCNJ, the total stay is limited to a total of 24 months, inclusive of all study time and any authorized academic training.

Academic Training Application Procedure

A student, who is applying for an extension of the date on his/her DS-2019, must apply at least one month prior to the expiration date on the current DS-2019. An extension request submitted after your DS-2019 has expired cannot be processed. A student’s failure to complete his/her program of study on time or to obtain a timely program extension constitutes a reportable violation of immigration status.


  • Obtain an offer of employment and have the prospective employer complete the ACADEMIC TRAINING EMPLOYER APPROVAL FORM which includes the job title, goals and objectives, dates and location of employment, number of hours per week, and the name and address of the training supervisor.


  • Ask your academic advisor or dean to write to the Center for Global Engagement RO a letter of recommendation for you. The letter should have the following criteria:
    • – The goals and objectives of the specific training program
    • – A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, the number of hours per week, and the dates of the training
    • – How the training relates to the student’s major field of study, and
    • – Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the exchange visitor student.


  • Make an appointment with the J-1 advisor in ISS to determine whether the Academic Training application meets the criteria set down in the regulations. Bring the Academic Advisor Approval Form, the Letter of Recommendation and the Academic Training Employer Form

Important information about Academic Training

• The student receives written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the duration and type of academic training.
• Must be authorized within the 30 days after completion of studies. All rights to Academic Training are lost if Academic Training is not approved by the 30 day deadline after degree completion.
• Valid only for the dates specified in the authorization letter or the form DS-2019.
• Part time employment counts the same as fulltime employment.
• Academic Training following completion of study must involve paid employment.
• Must be authorized before a J-1 student leaves the United States in order to avoid difficulty in reentering for the purpose of academic training.
• Academic Training does not exceed the period of study in the U.S. – except to satisfy mandatory requirements of the degree program.
• Academic Training does not exceed eighteen months for undergraduate and pre-doctoral training, including any prior academic training.

Remember, maintaining your J -1 status in the United States is your responsibility. You are expected to know and comply with federal regulatory restrictions relative to your status.