Non-Degree Category Overview

Students who have been approved to complete a prescribed course of study at UB (such as academic research) may participate in the J-1 Non-Degree category as long as they meet certain requirements.

J-1 Non-Degree Student Category Eligibility

Students who have been approved to complete a prescribed course of study (such as academic research). The prescribed course of study should be equivalent to a full-time workload and activities must take place at one of the three University at Buffalo campuses.

Program pre-approval by ISS is required before students can be invited to participate in this category. Academic departments looking to invite students using this category will complete a form describing the academic plan including the activities, goals, and objectives of the prescribed course of study. ISS will review the submission and academic departments will be informed if the program has been approved or if additional information is needed.

Non-Degree Category Eligibility Requirements

  • Be invited to the U.S. to engage in an approved prescribed course of study.
  • Have verifiable English language skills sufficient to participate in the proposed activities and to function on a day-to-day basis.
  • Have sufficient finances to support themselves (and any dependents) for their entire stay in the U.S. 51% or more of funding must be from a non-personal source (such as government funding, scholarships, other third-party, etc).
  • Program must be a minimum of 4 weeks in length, maximum 2 years.

Hosting Department Requirements

The hosting department must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Verify that J-1 Non-Degree student's English language ability through an interview, by a recognized English language test, or by signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school.
  • Ensure the academic plan meets the prescribed course of study requirements.
  • Provide support to the student throughout their entire time in the U.S. This includes pre-arrival assistance such as finding housing, completing any required paperwork, and answering questions about life in Buffalo. 
  • During the program the department must provide opportunities for the student to meet other students, experience U.S. culture, and participate in UB and department activities. 
  • The inviting department is responsible for the overall wellbeing of the student and must notify ISS if there are any concerns.
  • Inform ISS if any academic program details change (i.e. program start or end date, site of activity change or any changes to the plan previously communicated to ISS).