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Academic Training for J-1 Students

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Academic Training is a period of authorized, off-campus employment performed in the United States for a company with a U.S. location. Your position must be directly related to your field of study and can be paid or unpaid.

As a J-1 student, you may participate in Academic Training prior to graduation or after you complete your studies for a total of 18 months or the period of your full course of study, whichever is shorter. PhD students are eligible for Academic Training for up to 36 months. 

You must apply for work authorization prior to engaging in Academic Training. If Stanford has issued your DS-2019, submit an online application in Bechtel Connect. Processing time is approximately 5 to 10 business days. If Stanford is not your J-1 sponsor, you must contact your sponsoring agency for more information.

Student Eligibility Conditions

The following are eligibility conditions: 

  • The training opportunity must be directly related to your major field of study.
  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • You must have a job offer — self-employment cannot be used for Academic Training.
  • You must be in valid J-1 status.
  • You must have health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents.
  • Your SEVIS (U.S.) address in Axess must be kept current.
  • The employment must take place within the U.S. for a company with a U.S. location.

Additionally, you must report any personal information changes to the Bechtel International Center within 10 days of the change. See Maintaining Status for F and J Students for details.

Academic Training Before Graduation

You may work part time (20 hours or less) or full time during your approved Academic Training period. Full-time employment is only allowed during vacation periods or after graduation. Part-time Academic Training is deducted from the available Academic Training at a full-time rate (e.g., if you were to work half time for two months before you graduate, you have 16 months of employment eligibility remaining after you graduate).

Academic Training After Graduation

You must apply for your Academic Training before you graduate — the program end date on your DS-2019 — or you lose your eligibility to work. You should apply for Academic Training as soon as you receive a job offer, ideally, no later than two to four weeks before your graduation date. Since a job offer is required, you should start your job search early. 

Your approved Academic Training period is reduced by any of your prior periods of Academic Training.

If you plan to leave the U.S. after you complete your program of study and re-enter the country for J-1 Academic Training, you must obtain employment authorization before you leave or risk having difficulties re-entering.

Application and Authorization Procedures for Stanford-Sponsored J-1 Students

Academic Training is authorized by Bechtel International Center. To apply, submit the online application in Bechtel Connect. If you will have multiple employers, you must submit separate applications for each.

Your academic advisor must approve your Academic Training request in Bechtel Connect before it is forwarded to Bechtel for final approval. After submitting your request, prompt your advisor to approve it. If they need additional assistance, have them visit How to Approve Academic Training Requests.

After your advisor and Bechtel approve your Academic Training application, the International Student Advisor issues you (and your dependents) a new DS-2019. You are notified by email when your new DS-2019 is ready for pick-up.

General Limitations

Keep in mind these limitations for Academic Training:

  • Your employment may be authorized for the length of time necessary to complete the goals and objectives of the training, provided that is approved by both the academic dean or advisor and an International Student Advisor. The time period may not exceed the period of a full course of study or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
  • Additional Academic Training, beyond the 18-month limit (or 36-month limit for PhD students only, see below) is allowed only when required for the degree.
  • Earning more than one degree does not increase your eligibility for Academic Training.

PhD Students: Extended Period of Academic Training

PhD students are eligible for Academic Training for up to 36 months. This extended period is considered "postdoctoral training." The job offer letter should indicate that the position is offered for 36 months.

Interstride - Employment search portal for international students

Interstride is an interactive career platform that enhances the career exploration and job search process for international students and alum. The platform provides information on job and internship opportunities, the job search, H-IB visas, building one's professional network and more. Sign in using your or email.