Skip to main content

Academic Training

Academic Training (AT) is the name that the U.S. Department of State uses for certain types of study-related, off-campus internships or employment for students in J-1 status. It is available both before and after the completion of your program of study. You must obtain Academic Training authorization BEFORE you begin working and before the end date of your current DS-2019.

  • Maintain J-1 status for at least one semester
  • Primary purpose in the U.S. is to study
  • Must be in good academic standing
    • Graduate students: 3.0 CGPA or higher
    • Undergraduate students: 2.0 CGPA or higher
    • Students without posted GPAs can use current grade progress in their UMD coursework to demonstrate good standing
  • Proposed employment must be in your major field of study
  • Maintain J-1 status and apply for extensions, as necessary
  • Maintain health insurance coverage for yourself & dependents throughout period of AT
  • J-1 non-degree exchange students will require approval from their home institution to participate in Academic Training.  If you are an exchange student, you should meet with an ISSS advisor and/or your UMD Exchange Coordinator to determine your options.
  • AT is not to exceed the length of your program of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter
  • J-1 students who earn a Ph.D. are eligible for 2 periods of 18 months of AT
  • Part-time (20 hours per week) AT counts against the 18- or 36-month limit the same as full-time AT
  • Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for AT
  • Hours per week:
    • In general, maximum 20 hours per week during the semester (part-time)
    • No maximum limit during school vacations (full-time)
  • New degree-seeking transfer students are not eligible for AT in their first semester at UMD
  • Will be reduced by any prior periods of AT during your program
  • Must involve paid employment
  • You must have your job offer and apply for AT authorization BEFORE the completion of your program of study. Please begin the application process well in advance of the end of your current DS-2019 end date.

Step 1.  Obtain an offer letter on official company letterhead from an employer which includes all of the following information:

  • Job title
  • Brief description of goals & objectives of the training program (your employment)
  • Specific start & end dates of employment
  • Address of the workplace
  • Number of hours per week
  • Name of your training supervisor
  • Compensation

Step 2.  Discuss your AT application with your UMD academic advisor (or if you are a non-degree exchange student, discuss this application with your UMD exchange coordinator, who can help you identify your UMD academic advisor). Your UMD academic advisor will be contacted through iTerp (see step 3) for information about how the training relates to your field of study and your goals and objectives for your J-1 program. Give a copy of your offer letter to your UMD academic advisor for use in providing information in iTerp.

Step 3.  Log in to iTerp account and follow these steps to submit the Academic Training request:

  1. Click J-1 Student Services  > J-1 Academic Training Request. Please read the form’s instructions and click “Start a new request”.
  2. Begin the “Academic Advisor Request (J1 AT). Read the instructions on the page and submit all required information. Upon submission of the form, your academic advisor will be sent a request to complete some information about how the training relates to your field of study and your goals and objectives for your J-1 program. Note: You will not be able to complete the remainder of your Academic Training Request until your academic advisor submis their portion of the form.
  3. You will be notified via email once your academic advisor completes their portion of the form. At that time, you may log back into your iTerp account and complete the Application AT authorization e-form. This form may require you to upload:
    • Offer letter from employer
    • Updated insurance information
    • (Non-degree exchange students only) Approval from your home institution for your participation in the Academic Training opportunity. The approval should indicate you have more coursework to complete at your home institution.
    • (Students without posted GPAs) Evidence showing your grade progress to date in your UMD courses. 
  4. After submission of all required iTerp forms, an International Student Advisor will review your documentation. You will be notified by email within 2 weeks if your Academic Training request is approved. A new DS-2019 and Academic Training letter will be produced and instructions to pick up or mail the DS-2019 will be included in the approval.
  5. If you do not currently have a Social Security number, review information here about how to apply for a Social Security number.

J-1 student programs are required by the Department of State to collect an evaluation at the end of a student’s Academic Training experience. This includes an evaluation at the end of each period of employment if you switch employers, or end your current period of AT. You can complete this evaluation in iTerp within the final 90 days of your employment.

Back to Top