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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

UCLA admitted degree and exchange students (e.g. UCEAP) on J-1 student visa status have the opportunity to engage in paid or unpaid employment/internship directly related to their major field of study, during or after completion of their studies, and provided certain requirements are met. Such employment is termed Academic Training (AT) and is authorized in writing by the Dashew Center. There are 2 types of AT:

  1. Pre-Completion AT: Training that takes place prior to program completion
  2. Post-Completion AT: Training that takes place after program completion.

Students must review eligibility requirements and application guidelines below before submitting an AT application to the Dashew Center.

Eligibility

Conditions

  • Training must be an integral or critical part of the J-1 student’s U.S. academic program.
  • An academic training program should consist of bona fide training activities that are connected to a substantial academic framework, and are designed to expose students to the operations of their field.

  • Student must maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year for Pre-Completion AT.

  • Student must have completed at least one quarter in J-1 status at UCLA.

  • Training may be paid or unpaid. If unpaid, student must demonstrate that they have access to enough funds to cover their living expenses.

  • Training must be in-person at the employer site. Telework/work from home is not permitted.

  • Positions that do not qualify for AT include tenure-track positions, building a startup, and unskilled occupations (e.g. food servers, retail).

  • Enrollment in internship course required for Pre-Completion AT (exceptions may apply). Review Internship Course Enrollment section below.

  • The training must start within 30 days after the last quarter end date for Post-Completion AT.

  • Because proof of employment or work is a required part of the application process, J-1 students must have a job offer in hand BEFORE the completion of study (and at the time of the AT application).

  • AT allows for more than one position at a time, as long as all are related to the J-1 student's field of study. But, you must file a separate AT request for EACH and EVERY position. If changing employers while on Post-Completion AT, there CANNOT be a gap in employment dates. Post-Completion AT must be continuous.

Internship Course Enrollment Requirement

Enrollment in an internship course is required for Pre-Completion AT. Exceptions may apply. Details are provided below.

Undergraduate Degree and Exchange Students

  • Enrollment in a 195 or 199 course required unless the training takes place during the winter or summer breaks.
  • College of Letter and Sciences – enroll in an internship course through the UCLA Center for Community Learning at A265 Murphy Hall or call 310-825-7867. Enrollment in 195 or 199 course through Academic department also acceptable.
  • HSSEAS – enroll in ENGR 195
  • TFT – enroll in FTV 195
  • A&A – enroll in ART 195A, 195B, or 197
  • CAPPP - http://www.cappp.ucla.edu/ The Center for American Politics and Public Policy has a Washington DC program. EAP students are allowed to participate in academic training to fulfill the internship portion of the CAPPP program. Participants should obtain an internship offer letter from their internship supervisor.

Graduate Students

  • Enroll in a 596 course, internship course, or equivalent individual studies course through academic department.
  • Enrollment is not required for students in the following graduate degree programs: Clinical Psychology, Environmental Science, Financial Engineering, Management (MBA), Nursing, Public Health, Public Policy, and Social Welfare.

Hours Per Week

  • Pre-completion AT can be part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters or full-time in the summer.

  • Full-time Pre-completion AT may be available for students who are participating in a program that requires more than 20 hours per week or students who have advanced to candidacy.

  • Post-completion AT must be a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Duration of Academic Training

Degree Students

  • Undergraduate, Masters, and pre-doctoral training: no more than 18 months of AT allowed, or the duration of the program, whichever is less. For example: an LLM student 9-month program, would qualify for a 9-month period only.*

  • Post-doctoral training: up to 36 months allowed or the duration of the student's doctoral program, whichever is less. For example: a Ph.D. student in a 2 year program, would qualify for only 2 years.

  • Any period of AT taken before graduation is deducted from the total allocation indicated above.

  • If you have used any AT at a prior school or prior degree level, that amount is subtracted from your allowable total.

  • Post-Completion AT must start within 30 days after the program completion date.

  • Minimum of 20 hours of training per week required for Post-Completion AT.

*The U.S. Department of State has announced an initiative for College and University Student-category exchange visitors participating in academic training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Undergraduate and masters students are now eligible for a maximum of 36 months of academic training or the period of the full course of study in the United States, whichever is less. The initiative will run for the next two academic years (2021-2022 and 2022-2023) for degree students who meet the academic training requirements.

Exchange Students

  • Exchange Students (UCEAP, UCLA Exchange, LAW): up to 12 months or the duration of the student's exchange program, whichever is less(e.g. Students enrolled in one quarter are only allowed approximately 3 months of academic training).

  • Post-Completion AT must start within 30 days after the program completion date.

  • Any period of Academic Training taken before program completion is deducted from the total allocation indicated above in full.

  • Minimum of 20 hours per week required for Post-Completion AT.

  • Total stay in the U.S. (program duration combined with AT) must not exceed 2 years.

Application Instructions & Deadlines

Submit the application for Academic Training to the Dashew Center online at least 2 weeks BEFORE your training begins, BEFORE completion of the academic program, and BEFORE the DS-2019 expires. Your degree completion date may or may not be the same as the end date on your DS-2019. The standard processing for all student requests, including AT, is 10 business days (excluding weekends and holidays). Please keep this in mind as you plan your employment start date.

Expedites are not available and we are unable to back-date AT start dates. DO NOT begin any employment until AT has been approved and authorized on your DS-2019. Beginning or continuing employment without authorization is a serious violation of J-1 status. Incomplete applications may cause AT to be denied or delayed.

Pre-Completion Academic Training

For AT that takes place during your academic program, upload the following documents in PDF format to the Academic Training Application online submission form:

  1. J-1 Student Academic Training Request Form: Fill out and obtain signatures from your training supervisor and UCLA academic advisor. EAP Exchange students must obtain a signature from their UCEAP advisor at the International Education Office (IEO).

  2. Employer Letter: Obtain an employer letter on company letterhead using this letter template. The letter must include the following information: description of the training, job duties, organization name, address of the site, name of supervisor, number of hours per week, salary (if any) and dates of the training.

Upon approval, you are provided with an updated DS-2019 form and authorization letter.

Post-Completion Academic Training

For AT that takes place after your academic program, upload the following documents in PDF format to the Academic Training Application online submission form:

  1. J-1 Student Academic Training Request Form: Fill out and obtain signatures from your training supervisor and UCLA academic advisor. EAP Exchange students must obtain a signature from their UCEAP advisor at the International Education Office (IEO).

  2. Employer Letter: Obtain an employer letter on company letterhead using this letter template. The letter must include the following information: description of the training, job duties, organization name, address of the site, name of supervisor, number of hours per week, salary (if any) and dates of the training.

  3. Confidential Financial Statement: Sign and date. Minimum living expenses is $25,148 per year.

  4. Financial Documents: Attach evidence of financial support that will cover living expenses (e.g. bank statement, employer letter with salary). Minimum living expenses is $25,148 per year.

  5. Insurance Certification Form: Sign and date (Participants must maintain health insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the J-1 visa program throughout the duration of their training. Students not covered by UCSHIP will need to enroll or waive the UCLA Garnett-Powers VSBP Plan).

  6. $40 Post-Graduate SEVIS User Fee Receipt: Fee can be paid through the Dashew Center website www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu. Login to your Dashew account at the top right corner of the home page. Print “Payment History” screen to be submitted with your documents. The fee is required for each Academic Training application.

Upon approval, you are provided with an updated DS-2019 form and authorization letter.

Application Deadlines

  • Pre-Completion AT: apply at least 2 weeks before the start date of Academic Training.

  • Post-Completion AT: apply at least 2 weeks before your last quarter end date or before the end of your filing fee usage period if on filing fee, and at least 2 weeks before your DS-2019 expires. The training must start within 30 days after the last quarter end date for Post-Completion AT.

  • Please allow 10 business days to process your application and apply as early as possible. An incomplete application will delay your Academic Training approval. You cannot start working until after you have received Academic Training approval from the Dashew Center.

Evaluations

Academic Training evaluations are a requirement of the U.S. Department of State.

The supervisor and student must submit the end-of-program evaluation one week prior to the end of the Academic Training or, if applicable, before an application to extend Academic Training is submitted by the student.

Academic Training Supervisor Evaluation Form

Academic Training Student Evaluation Form