Academic Training for J-1 Students
What Is Academic Training?
Academic training (AT) is a type of work authorization for J-1 students that allows them to engage in employment training or practical experience that supports the knowledge they are gaining in their academic program.
Academic training can be:
- Paid or unpaid
- Part-time or full-time
- While enrolled in classes or after an academic program has been completed
- With one or more employers
J-1 students wanting to apply for academic training with Drexel University must meet the following requirements:
- The J-1 student has a DS-2019 that was issued by Drexel University and not an outside agency (such as Fulbright).
- The J-1 student must primarily be in the United States to study rather than engage in academic training.
- The J-1 student must be in good academic standing.
- The academic training must be directly related to the major field of study listed on the J-1 student's DS-2019.
- The J-1 student must have their academic training approved and listed on their DS-2019 before their program end date.
- The academic training must start no later than 30 days after the J-1 student's program ends.
Academic Training Time Stipulations
General time limits which apply to all J-1 students:
- The total employment/training period may not exceed the length of the academic program.
- AT that happens while a J-1 student is studying and AT that happens after a J-1 student's program ends are added together when determining a student's cumulative AT time allotment.
- Full-time and part-time AT are counted equally.
Specific time limits include:
- Bachelors and masters students are limited to 18 months of AT (or the length of their degree program, whichever is shorter). Students pursuing a STEM degree may qualify for a special extension.
- PhD students are limited to 36 months of AT (or the length of their degree program, whichever is shorter).
- Non-degree students may not extend their DS-2019 beyond 24 months in total, including any time needed to complete their degree program and Academic Training.
Assemble the following documents to submit to ISSS at email@example.com:
- Copy of the employment offer letter including:
- Employer's name
- Full address
- Position title
- Dates of employment
- Funding/salary (if applicable)
- Official endorsed recommendation letter on letterhead from your academic advisor including:
- The goals and objectives of your academic training.
- How your employment relates to your field of study.
- Why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program.
- If unpaid – proof of financial support for yourself and for any dependents
- Proof of health insurance for the duration of the requested Academic Training period
If the request meets all requirements, ISSS will issue an Academic Training Authorization letter and updated DS-2019 form documenting your AT approval. Our office takes approximately four (4) to five (5) business days to review the Academic Training request. We recommend submitting the request at least three (3) weeks in advance to allow sufficient processing time in case any follow-up is needed.
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Visit during office hours to drop off/pick up documents or to request a travel signature.
Virtual Advising Hours
Mondays and Tuesdays: 2–4 p.m.
Fridays: 9:30–11:30 a.m.