Skip to main content

Academic Training

J-1 students may engage in academic training related to their major during or after their undergraduate studies. Two types of training are offered and must be approved and authorized by International Student Services.
Pre-completion Academic Training
What is it?
When do I apply?
How do I apply?
How is it approved?
When can I start?
How long is it?

Academic Training allows a J-1 student to engage in employment training or practical training, with or without pay, that is directly related to that student’s field of study. Pre-completion academic training is training done prior to your program end date, or graduation. The Department of State does not differentiate between post-completion and pre-completion academic training. Any internship or training experience, with or without pay, credited or uncredited, is classified as academic training for all J-1 students.

For pre-completion AT, we recommend that you apply at least 30 days prior to the start date of your internship. This will allow adequate time for us to review, make a decision, and process your DS-2019, which is required prior to starting training. The DS-2019 will serve as proof of your authorization.

  1. Coordinate with your academic advisor to map out how and if you would be able to fit an internship within the time you have left prior to graduation.  
  2. Then, you can work directly with your internship coordinator and Career Services to find an experience or opportunity that relates directly to your major. You may also find an opportunity on your own, but you will still work with Career Services to initiate application in Handshake. 
  3. Complete the pre-completion academic training experience request in Handshake. Your application will contain the following items: offer letter, the memorandum of understanding, and learning objectives.  

NOTE: This application will go through a series of approvals, of which ISS is the last.  

The Handshake experience request will go through a series of approvals, of which ISS is the last. You will need approval from your academic advisor, internship coordinator, Office of the Registrar, etc.

You will be able to view in your Handshake experience request whether or not your pre-completion AT has been approved. Upon approval, you will be notified by our office to pick up your DS-2019. The DS-2019 will show your academic training site of activity. This is the document that authorizes you to engage in an internship, whether on or off campus.

Once you have approval from the ISS office and the updated hard copy of your DS-2019, you may start your pre-completion academic training. Note that if you are doing it prior to graduation, the last day of your internship MUST end prior to the program end date on your DS-2019.

You are authorized to engage in academic training for the time period specified on your DS-2019. For pre-completion academic training, this period of time is typically no longer than six months. Note that any time you engage in AT prior to graduation will count towards the total 18 months you are allowed to engage in AT. This means if you complete 6 months of AT prior to your graduation, you will only be allowed 12 months after graduation to engage in any kind of post-completion AT.

Post-completion Academic Training
What is it?
When do I apply?
How do I apply?
How is it approved?
When can I start?
How long is it?

Academic Training allows a J-1 student to engage in employment training or practical training, with or without pay, that is directly related to that student’s field of study. Post-completion academic training is training done after your program end date or graduation. The Department of State does not differentiate between post-completion and pre-completion academic training. Any internship or training experience, with or without pay, credited or uncredited, is classified as academic training for all J-1 students.

You may apply as early as the semester start date of your graduating semester. Please make sure your application has been submitted within 30 days before graduation. This will allow adequate time for us to review, make a decision, and process your DS-2019, which is required prior to starting training. The DS-2019 will serve as proof of your authorization.

  1. Find practical experience or an employment opportunity. You will need an offer letter and must make sure that the experience relates directly to your major.  
  2. Fill out the ISS Academic Training Application complete with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the company you will be working under. The MOU is an agreement between BYUH and the organization you will be working under.  
  3. Arrange health insurance, beginning from the time you graduate BYUH. As part of the AT application, you need to provide proof of insurance for at least the first month after graduation. If you renew insurance monthly, you will need to update our office with current proof of insurance. 
  4. Once you graduate, you are no longer enrolled under DMBA, unless you have a spouse who can claim you as his or her dependent. Having health insurance is a requirement to maintain status as an exchange student in the U.S. For more information, see our exchange visitor insurance requirement website.  
  5. Schedule a time to meet with your ISS advisor. Make sure you have all of the following items to apply for post-completion academic training: 
  • Copy of employment letter on official letterhead.
  • ISS AT application.
  • MOU signed by your employer.
  • Proof of health insurance 
  • Financial documents showing sources of funding during academic training.

After ISS receives your application, it is reviewed and goes through a series of academic approvals, as well as the final approval by your ISS advisor.

If your AT is approved, you will receive an email notification from our office, informing you to stop by and pick up your updated DS-2019 and AT approval letter. If your AT is denied, you will receive notice from your advisor with further instructions.

Once you have approval from the ISS office and the updated hard copy of your DS-2019, you may start your post-completion academic training. Note that you must begin your academic training within the 30 days following graduation.

You are authorized to engage in academic training for the time period specified on your DS-2019 in box 5. You allowed 18 months total to engage in Academic Training, assuming you did not engage in pre-completion academic training. If you did engage in pre-completion AT, that time will be deducted from your total time of AT allowed. If you would like to extend your academic training authorization up to the 18 months allowed, please contact our office.