What is Academic Training?

Academic Training authorizes a J-1 student to accept employment or participate in training opportunities, such as an internship or practicum, directly related to the student's major field of study. Academic Training may be authorized for paid employment or unpaid training. Note: While students may work for more than one employer while on Academic Training, each employer and Academic Training segment must be approved separately.


  • You must have a valid, unexpired DS-2019;
  • You must be in good academic standing at the University of Iowa;
  • Your primary purpose in the U.S. must be to study rather than to engage in Academic Training;
  • Your employment or training must be directly related to your major field of study and an integral part of your academic program;
  • You must receive an updated DS-2019 and written approval from ISSS before beginning the employment or training;
  • You must maintain health insurance coverage as required by J-1 regulations. For more information about the Health Insurance requirement, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Note: If you have J-1 program sponsor other than University of Iowa (such as ISEP, IIE, etc. as indicated in section two on your DS-2019), you must seek authorization for Academic Training from your program sponsor.

Pre-completion Academic Training

  • Academic Training may be authorized during your program of study. You must maintain full-time enrollment (12 s.h. for undergraduates or 9 s.h. for graduate students, or 6 s.h. for grad students with assistantships of 25%-time or greater). Note: concurrent enrollment at other schools is not permitted while on Academic Training.
  • Pre-completion Academic Training must be registered as cooperative education with the appropriate career center. (See instructions below.)
  • Pre-completion Academic Training is normally part-time but may be full-time under certain conditions. Please discuss your plans with an ISSS advisor.
  • Exchange students are not eligible for pre-completion Academic Training.

Post-completion Academic Training

  • Post-completion Academic Training must be authorized prior to the date on which you complete your program of study and/or before your DS-2019 expires, whichever comes first.
  • For post-completion Academic Training, employment must begin no later than 30 days after completion of studies. Note: Your authorized period of academic training will begin on the day after you complete your studies, whether or not you begin working on this day.
  • Students participating in post-completion Academic Training must provide evidence of adequate funding for living expenses and health insurance during the training period. Note: Students must also provide proof of health insurance coverage.
  • Exchange students may engage in post-completion Academic Training, based on the length of program of study as noted below.

Time Limits for Academic Training

If your program was...

You are eligible for...

One semester or less

You may be eligible for up to four (4) months. See an ISSS advisor for additional information.

One full academic year

You may be eligible for up to nine (9) months. See an ISSS advisor for additional information.

Undergraduate Degree or Master’s Degree or Professional Degree

Maximum of eighteen (18) months, or the period of full course of study in the U.S., whichever is less.

Doctoral degree

Maximum of thirty-six (36) months, or the period of full course of study in the U.S., whichever is less.

  • The total number of months of Academic Training may not exceed the total number of months of study, unless the Academic Training is required to fulfill degree requirements. Note: Non-degree J-1 students should meet with an ISSS advisor to discuss eligibility and time limits.
  • Academic Training done prior to the completion of your program of study will reduce the number of months of Academic Training available after you complete your program of study. For example: three months of Academic Training taken during the summer between two semesters will reduce your total amount of Academic Training by three months.
  • Both part-time and full-time academic training segments count toward the total Academic Training limit.

Academic Training Application Instructions

1. Obtain a job offer letter from your employer. The job offer letter must be on letterhead and include all of the following information:

  • Job/position title
  • Description of employment
  • Employment dates
  • Location and address of employment
  • Salary, if any
  • Number of hours to be worked per week
  • Name, email address and phone number of your supervisor

2. Pre-completion Academic Training: (only for those who are doing Academic Training while still in the degree program; students who are doing Academic Training after graduation do not have to do this and should go to #3 below)

Register your internship with the appropriate career center:

  • College of Engineering Students—Apply with Engineering Professional Development office, 3124 SC

  • Tippie College of Business and Pre-Business Students Undergraduate Students-- Follow the instructions on the BUS:3100 website to request to enroll in this internship course by completing the BUS:3100 Enrollment Request Form. Make sure this is done before you submit your Academic Training e-form to ISSS. The Tippie internship coordinator will email you once your request is reviewed and you are approved to enroll in BUS:3100. You MUST then log on to MyUI to register for the course so it appears on your transcript. 

  • All other programs of study (including Masters and PhD programs outside the College of Engineering) — First, review the requirements of your reporting options on the Pomerantz Career Center website. Next, log in to Handshake. Click on "Career Center -> Experiences -> Request an Experience" and complete the appropriate form (F-1 and J-1 Zero Credit Hour for CPT Requirement, CCP:1201 Academic Internship 1-3 Credit Hours, or Field Experience for CPT Requirement.)

  • Note: If you are a graduate student with a 50% assistantship requesting permission to work more than 20 hours/week on campus during the fall or spring semester in either the same or a second assistantship position, you must first receive permission from the Graduate College to do so. Meet with your academic advisor to request a recommendation letter or email, addressed to Associate Dean Campo, supporting your request to work more than 50% in a graduate assistantship. Have the letter emailed to Associate Dean Shelly Campo at shelly-campo@uiowa.edu Associate Dean Campo will review the recommendation letter based on the following criteria as stated by the academic advisor: (1) the additional position has more than a monetary benefit, (2) the position won’t interfere with progress towards the degree, (3) the student is making good progress towards degree completion. If the Graduate College denies the request, you will not receive Academic Training authorization from ISSS. If the Graduate College approves the request, upload a copy of the approval into iHawk along with the rest of the Academic Training application material listed.

3. Complete the Pre/Post-Academic Training Application on iHawk:

  • Log in to your iHawk account (click the blue login button) using your HawkID and password. Go to "J-1 Student Services" and complete the e-form "Academic Training Request."
  • Once you complete the e-form, your academic advisor will need to review it. Your advisor will receive an email message from ISSS which will provide a link to review your request. Your advisor will be asked to comment on your request.
  • If you are advised by the Academic Advising Center, you must make an appointment to meet with your advisor before they will approve the e-form request.
  • If you are advised in an academic department, your departmental advisor may also prefer that you schedule an appointment to meet with them; it is a good idea to inform your academic advisor tan email from the ISSS has been sent to be reviewed and approved.
  • After your advisor comments on your e-form request, your request will be reviewed by an ISSS advisor. If there are no questions regarding your request, an ISSS advisor will approve the e-form and issue an amended DS-2019 and Academic Training letter.