J-1 Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) is a form of employment authorization for students in J-1 status to obtain practical experience in their field of study as listed on the DS-2019. The Academic Training may be:

  • With or without wages
  • During the course of studies or
  • After completion of the course of study

Undergraduate and Master’s Degree

Students are eligible for up to 18 months of Academic Training but may never be approved for Academic Training for longer than the length of the academic program. In other words, if a program of study is for longer than 18 months, Academic Training is available for 18 months. If a program of study is 9 months (less than 18 months), Academic Training is for 9 months (the length of the program). There is no distinction between full-time and part-time Academic Training. Whether a student works part-time or full-time, a day of authorized Academic Training is counted as a day of Academic Training.


Ph.D. Degree

Students are eligible for up to 36 months (3 years) of Academic Training but may never be approved for Academic Training for longer than the length of the academic program. In other words, if the Ph.D. was completed in 2 years, Academic Training is limited to 2 years.  There is no distinction between full-time and part-time Academic Training.  Whether a student works part-time or full-time, a day of authorized Academic Training is counted as a day of Academic Training.

J-1 students whose DS-2019s were issued by other than Syracuse University (Fulbright, IIE, USAID, etc.) must contact their J-1 Program Sponsor for instructions on eligibility and procedures for Academic Training.

To apply for J-1 Academic Training, J-1 students whose DS-2019s were issued by Syracuse University will need the following documents:

  1. Completed Academic Training Data Sheet
  2. Department Recommendation Letter

Must Include:

  • Date of completion of the degree.
  • Goals and objectives for the training program.
  • Description of the training program including its location, name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours of work per week, dates of the training;
  • How the training relates to the student’s major field of study; and
  • Why it is an integral part of the student’s academic program.
  1. Letter from Academic Training employer/organization confirming the opportunity, dates and salary/wage, if paid.
  2. Financial documentation of ability to support yourself and J-2 dependents if the Academic Training is unpaid.
  3. Proof of health insurance.
  4. Copies of previous DS-2019s, passport, visa, and printout of electronic I-94.

Application for Academic Training

  • Must be filed before the end date of the academic program of study (which may be earlier than the end date on the DS-2019).
  • Must be approved in advance of the training start date which must be within 30 days of the end date of the academic program of study.
  • If your application for Academic Training is approved, you will be given a new DS-2019 noting the Academic Training (from beginning to end date and site of activity). If necessary, your J-1 status will be extended for the period of approved Academic Training.