Employment: Academic Training


What is Academic Training? 

Academic Training may be approved for J-1 students to apply knowledge and skills learned at school to a practical work experience off campus. It includes employment training, internships or work related to your field of study at UConn. Academic Training is available under the following conditions as long as both you and your training opportunity meet all eligibility criteria.

Academic Training…

  • is available before or after completion of studies (pre-completion vs. post-completion).
  • is not restricted to part-time or full-time hours, but we strongly advise students who use pre-completion Academic Training to limit work to part-time while school is in session.
  • can be authorized for both paid and unpaid internships or jobs, as long as the position is related to the your field of study and integral to your exchange program.

Academic Training Authorization

To apply for Academic Training you must submit to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) your Academic Training application form and required support documents at least 2 weeks before the start date of your internship/training. ISSS will issue a letter authorizing your Academic Training, and you will also receive an updated Form DS-2019 listing your Academic Training site and dates of activity. ISSS will process your application only when it has all required information and documents.

The Academic Training authorization is employment/internship site specific and date specific. In case you have multiple trainings at the same time, your AT authorization letter must include authorizations for each training activity.

Prepare Documents for Academic Training Application to ISSS

  1. Formal employment (internship) offer, written on official letterhead from your potential Academic Training employer. The job offer letter from your employer must include:
    1. Your job title
    2. Specific start date and end date and location (address) of training or employment
    3. Number of hours per week, salary and benefits
    4. Name, title, phone #, and email address of your training supervisor
  2. If applying for post-completion Academic Training, and the position is unpaid, proof of funding (e.g. bank statements) to show how you will support yourself during your Academic Training. The document must:
    1. Demonstrate enough funding to meet the estimated living expenses that UConn requires to issue a Form DS-2019. (Refer to the cost of attendance for your academic program on the ISSS website for current figures).
    2. Issued within last three months
    3. Issued in English (or submitted with official translation)
    4. Bank Statements: must identify the bank/institution name, the name of account holder and currency (can be local currency)
    5. Personal Sponsor/Family Funding: must be liquid funds e.g. savings/banking statements or certificates of deposit (no investment fund statements, retirement plans,  salary/income confirmation, property/assets verification, etc.) and your sponsor must complete Part 2: Personal Sponsor Declaration of the Financial Declaration form
  3. Payment of 12-Month OPT/AT Processing Fee for students applying for post-completion Academic Training. This fee will cover Academic Training application processing for Academic Training lasting up to 12 months. If you apply for Academic Training beyond 12 months, you will need to pay the fee again (and it will cover you for an additional 12 months). This fee must be paid online through the UConn Bursar website. After paying the $150 fee, you must print a receipt and include this with your application documents to ISSS.

Submit the Student Academic Training Record in the ISSS Portal

When starting the application, select the term in which you are requesting your Academic Training to begin (example, if starting in 2020 select "Request, 2020" if starting in 2021, select "Request, 2021".

In the application, you will request a recommendation link be sent to your academic advisor. Your academic advisor will confirm your academic program and program completion date.  Your academic advisor is not your ISSS advisor. *Exchange students should request the recommendation from the Incoming Exchange Coordinator in Education Abroad.

We recommend that you meet with your academic advisor before completing the Academic Training record. Your advisor should be aware of and approve of your graduation plans, and it is courteous to let you advisor know they will receive the ISSS request to complete your Academic Training recommendation.  Your academic advisor will need to answer questions about how this training opportunity is related to your degree program and what your objectives are in participating in Academic Training.  

Submit Medical Insurance Confirmation Record in ISSS Portal

Health Insurance Requirements

Students using Academic Training must continue to maintain health insurance that meets the U.S. Department of State requirements for J-1 students and their dependents that are in the U.S. for the entire length of stay, including during Academic Training after completion of your program.  Required coverages for students and their dependents are as follows:

  • $100,000 per accident of illness
  • Deductible of no more than $500
  • Medical evacuation up to $50,000 and repatriation up to $25,000. You are responsible to ensure that your chosen plan meets these requirements.

Failure to maintain this insurance requirement constitutes a VIOLATION OF STATUS.

If ISSS approves your application, an RO/ARO will issue a new DS-2019 authorizing the Academic Training for the duration you requested. Your employer will be listed on an Academic Training authorization letter accompanying the new DS-2019. If your Academic Training occurs after completing your academic studies, the end date of your Academic Training becomes the new end date of your J-1 exchange program. You must apply for an extension of your Academic Training in a timely manner if your training offer is extended. The Academic Training extension request requires the same documents listed above.


You are eligible for Academic Training if all of the following criteria are met:

  • You have J-1 visa status
  • You are in the U.S. primarily for study in a full-time academic degree program or non-degree exchange program. UCAELI students are not eligible for Academic Training.
  • You are in good academic standing (cannot be on academic probation or suspension)
  • You have a specific employment/internship/training offer that is directly related to your major field of study at the time of application.
  • Post-completion Academic Training employment must begin within 30 days after your program completion date.
  • Your Academic Training position may not be a tenure track position (if teaching).

When to Apply

You may only begin working on Academic Training after receiving your Academic Training authorization in hand.  For pre-completion AT, you must submit your application at least 2 weeks prior to your anticipated start date. For post-completion Academic Training, you must submit the application for Academic Training to ISSS at least 2 weeks before the completion date of your academic program or DS-2019 end date, whichever comes first. “Completion” date is defined as follows:

  • Undergraduates - the official last day of the semester you are graduating
  • Graduates – the day degree requirements are fulfilled, such as passing final exams or filing your dissertation with the Graduate School
  • Study Abroad/Exchange Students – the official last day of the final academic semester of your program.

You must obtain Academic Training authorization prior to your DS-2019 program end date. Academic Training cannot be authorized after this date.

Duration of Academic Training

  • Students in degree programs are permitted an overall maximum Academic Training period of 18 cumulative months. However, your Academic Training cannot exceed the time spent in your degree program, so if you study in a 12 month degree program you will be eligible for 12 months of Academic Training. This counts all Academic Training completed during different degree programs, whether before or after completion of studies, paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time.
  • Students who complete a doctoral degree program are eligible for an additional 18 months of Academic Training authorization, for a maximum total of 36 months.
  • Time spent on post-completion Academic Training is counted from the day after you complete your program, even if your actual Academic Training position starts later. In other words, your program end date, including post-completion Academic Training time, cannot go beyond 18/36 after you complete the degree program.
  • Part-time academic training deducts the same amount of time from your permitted Academic Training duration as full-time Academic Training.
  • Non-degree students (e.g. exchange students): Your Academic Training duration may not exceed the length of your program of study. Additionally, your total J-1 program duration, including any time spent in Academic Training, may not exceed 24 months. This could impact the amount of post-completion Academic Training you may undertake.

Exceptions to the 18-Month Limit

There are exceptions to the 18-month time limit, if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Your degree program requires a training period longer than 18 months.
  • After completing a Ph.D. program, you are eligible for an additional 18 months of post-doctoral training, for a total of 36 months of academic training (inclusive of any AT used prior to degree completion).

Travel and Reentry on Academic Training

A valid travel signature on your DS-2019 and a valid visa stamp are required to reenter the U.S. while on Academic Training.  Consult with your international advisor at ISSS for more information about travel on Academic Training.

Failure to Comply with Employment Regulations

Employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Remember that before you start any kind of employment, you must first consult with an ISSS advisor, whose written approval is necessary in advance.