Academic Training

Academic Training

What is Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) is employment integral to a J-1 student's academic program. Academic Training may occur during and/or after completion of studies. Such training may include--but is not limited to--internships, practicum, and field work, and may be part-time or full-time. Academic Training may also be authorized for paid or unpaid positions.

How Long is Academic Training 

Authorization for Academic Training may be granted for pre-completion (prior to completion of degree) or post-completion (after completion of degree) employment for a maximum of 18 months.

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • Academic training cannot exceed the length of your program's classroom time. For example, if you are in a twelve-month program, your period of AT is limited to 12 months as well. Internships, practicum or field work which are a mandatory requirement for all students in your degree program are exempted from the 18-month limit.
  • Pre-completion AT may only be authorized for 20 hours or less while school is in session. Part-time employment for AT is counted at the same rate as full-time AT.
  • Doctoral students may be eligible for a second 18 months of AT, for a total of 36 months of AT. The second 18 months can only be used for post-completion AT for qualified positions such as Postdoctoral fellowships. 

Eligibility for Academic Training

J-1 Students wishing to apply for Academic Training must: 

  • be in good academic standing and have made satisfactory progress towards their degree objective as indicated on their Form DS-2019
  • have an official written offer for training / employment. The training must be integral to the degree objective as indicated on the Form DS-2019 
  • maintain valid J-1 documents, including a valid passport, an unexpired Form DS-2019, and an electronic I-94 record annotated "J-1 D/S."
  • maintain health insurance coverage for themselves and any J-2 dependents throughout the entire period of Academic Training
  • apply prior to the start of employment
  • certify that their primary purpose in the U.S. is to study, not to work  

If applying for Post-completion AT, you must: 

  • Submit the application 30 days prior to the program completion date
  • Have a formal offer of training in your field of studies

J-1 Exchange Visitors who have obtained a waiver to the two-year home residency requirement prior to the anticipated start of the training period are not eligible for Academic Training. If the two-year home residency requirement is waived during the Academic Training period, the exchange visitor is no longer eligible for an extension of the Academic Training.

How to Apply for Academic Training

STEP 1: Obtain an official letter from the prospective employer. The letter must contain the following information:

  • job title and a job description (Please also note, beginning July 1, 2023, J-1 students must have an offer for a post-completion academic training position that is remote no more than 40% of their program (e.g., two out of five days per week). 
  • the start and end dates of the proposed training
  • the location / training site
  • the number of hours per week of employment
  • salary offered, if the position is paid;  and
  • the name and address of your training supervisor

STEP 2: Obtain a recommendation letter from your TC Academic Advisor. This letter must be addressed to the OISS and must be provided on Teachers College letterhead. The recommendation letter must contain the following information: 

  • the goals and objectives of the specific training program;
  • a description of the training (based on the letter provided by your prospective employer);
  • describe how the training is directly related to your major field of study; and
  • why it is an integral or critical part of your academic program.

STEP 3: Submit the "Application Academic Training Authorization" eForm to the OISS via TC-Compass. Applications for Academic Training will be  reviewed and processed within 14 business days. The application must include the following:

  • Employer's letter
  • Advisor's letter

Applications for Post-Completion Academic Training must also include the following: 

  • Evidence of financial support in the amount of at least $2,000 per month to cover living expenses. 
  • Evidence of health insurance coverage for the post-completion academic period. The coverage must comply with the U.S. Department of State J-1 health insurance requirements. The requirements set forth by the Department of State are as follows:
    • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
    • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
    • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
    • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
Back to skip to quick links