Academic training is a period of authorized, off-campus employment directly related to a J-1 student’s field of study. Students may participate in academic training prior to or after completion of study for a total maximum period of 18 months, inclusive of any prior academic training as an exchange visitor. Students who are sponsored by institutions other than Stevens should check with that sponsor for information on academic training.
Students may work part-time (20 hrs. or less) during the academic year or full-time during vacation or after graduation. Part-time academic training is deducted from the total academic training at a full-time rate (e.g., any part time employment, even if just a few hours, is counted as full time for the purpose of academic training).
Students must apply for work authorization prior to engaging in academic training by submitting an application to the ISSS office. You must apply for academic training before the end date on your DS-2019, and the employment must commence within 30 days of the program completion. Academic training requires written approval from the sponsoring institution before starting any kind of employment. Working without the proper authorization is a violation of your status. Processing time is approximately five days.
Academic Training Eligibility
- The primary purpose for being in the United States is to study rather than engage in academic training
- The proposed employment is directly related to your field of study at Stevens
- You must be in good academic standing
- You must continue to carry sufficient health insurance during the training program for yourself and any J-2 dependents
- Show proof of financial support, if the proposed training is unpaid
- Obtain written permission from ISSS prior to engaging in any off – campus work, training, or experience whether paid or unpaid
Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that it is approved by the academic advisor and the ISSS office. The typical degree seeking student may be eligible to engage in a total of 18 months of academic training, with the following exceptions: doctoral students may be eligible for a total of 36 months, and non-degree seeking students may only engage in academic training for a maximum period equivalent to their time spent in a full-time course of study.
Complete and sign the J-1 Academic Training Application Form. You are also required to obtain a job offer letter from the prospective employer, and a letter of recommendation from your academic advisor.
Job Offer Letter
The job offer letter must include the following information:
- Job title
- A brief description of the "goals and objectives" of your "training program" (your employment),
- The dates and location of the employment, the number of hours per week, salary,
- The name and address of your "training supervisor" (the quotations come from the regulations).
Academic Advisor Recommendation Letter (Submit a copy of the job offer letter to assist your academic advisor when composing the recommendation letter.)
The academic advisor’s letter of recommendation must include:
- A description of the training program, including its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
- Explain how the training relates to the student's major field of study; and
- Why the academic training is an integral or critical part of the student’s academic program