Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) provides an opportunity for J-1 students to participate in a temporary internship or employment (paid or unpaid) related to their field of study in the U.S. You may be authorized for more than one job/internship at a time, as long as all are related to your field of study as listed on your DS-2019. However, you must submit SEPARATE Academic Training requests for each position.

Types of Academic Training

Before Your Studies End 
Academic Training authorized before the completion of studies is called pre-completion AT. Pre-completion AT is limited to part-time (20 hours/week or less) during the academic terms, but can be full-time during the vacation or break periods.

PhD students who have Advanced to Candidacy may be eligible to work full time during any term as long as the work is directly related to your dissertation.

After You Complete Studies
Academic Training authorized after the completion of studies is called post-completion AT. Post-completion AT can be full-time or part-time.

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Am I Eligible?

You can request Academic Training if you:

  • Are in valid J-1 status and have maintainted full-time enrollment;
  • Have secured a job/internship. If you are doing post-completion AT, the start date must be no more than 30 days after your program end date;

AND, for post-completion AT applicants:

  • All Post Completition AT must be completed consectutively, with no gaps in employment dates, and you must request AT prior to your program end date or the end date of your last AT.  Failure to request prior to the end date will result in denial of AT
  • Are able to show proof of funding of $2,000/month to cover living expenses during the post-completion AT period and, if applicable, additional funding of $1,200/month for a J-2 spouse and $700/month per J-2 child. If your AT is paid, you may use your salary information toward the proof of funding requirements.
  • Agree to maintain health insurance that meets the minimum Department of State requirements for J visa holders for the duration of post-completion AT.

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How Long Can I Do Academic Training?

18-Month General Limit
Students at the undergraduate or Masters level can request AT for a maximum of 18 months or for a period equal to the length of your studies, whichever is shorter. For example, UCEAP Reciprocity students at UCSC for 1 quarter are only eligible for 1 quarter's worth of AT.

Additional 18 Months for PhD Students
Students who are completing a PhD can receive AT for up to 36 months or for a period equal to the length of your studies, whichever is shorter. It is typically split into 18-month segments, and the additional 18 months AT must be applied for separately, even if with the same employer.

Note: All AT is counted as full-time, even if you are only working on a part-time basis AND is inclusive of all prior AT in the U.S. For example, if you are an undergraduate student and used part-time AT for 3 months before graduating, you are only eligible for another 15 months of AT after graduating, whether it is full- or part-time (assuming your program was at least 18 months).

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How to Apply

  1. Obtain an official, signed employment offer letter, which clearly specifies the following items:
    1. First and last name of student
    2. Employer's name and address
    3. Job Title
    4. Specific Job duties
    5. Dates of Employment
    6. Anticipated working hours per week
    7. Compensation
  2. Complete an Academic Training Request Form in the J-1 Employment Forms section and obtain the required signatures from your academic department.
    • For Post-Completion AT applicants ONLY: Include proof of funding documentation and sign the health insurance agreement.
  3. Submit the AT Request and supporting documents to an International Student Advisor at least 2 weeks before your job start date.*
  4. Pick up your new DS-2019 with AT authorization at the Front Desk within 3-5 business days.

*Note: AT authorization cannot be backdated and you can only begin your internship/employment AFTER you have received the new AT DS-2019 from ISSS. You cannot work beyond the dates approved or work for a new employer without submitting either an additional AT request or an AT extension request.

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