Exchange Visitor Categories

MUSC is authorized by the US Department of State to sponsor the following exchange visitor categories:

EV Category  Minimum Duration  Maximum Duration
 Research Scholar  3 weeks  5 years
 Professor  3 weeks  5 years
 Short-Term Scholar  n/a  6 months
 Specialist  3 weeks  1 year
 Student (Non-Degree)  3 weeks  2 years
 Student Intern  3 weeks  1 year

Professor or Research Scholar

Professor and Research Scholar are two separate categories, but because they are related, the regulations governing them are contained in the same subsection. A Professor is defined as an individual engaging primarily in teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A Professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. A Research Scholar is defined as an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. The Research Scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. Research Scholar is the most common J-1 category utilized at MUSC. The Professor and Research Scholar categories require that the applicant have completed a minimum of a Bachelor's degree.

Short-Term Scholar

A Professor, Research Scholar, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the US on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, participating in collaborative research, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. This category requires that the applicant have completed a minimum of a Bachelor's degree. The Short-Term Scholar category is limited to a total duration of six (6) months. Extensions beyond six months are not permitted within the Short-Term Scholar category.


A Specialist is individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.This category requires that the applicant have completed a minimum of a Bachelor's degree.

Student Non-Degree

An individual who is enrolled as a degree-seeking graduate student at an institution in his or her home country and is maintaining satisfactory advancement towards the completion of his or her academic degree. This international student has been invited to conduct short-term doctoral research or participate in a prescribed course of study, such as a mentored or independent research project or master’s research collaborations with a faculty member at MUSC. The program must be for the purposes of satisfying the degree requirements at the student’s home institution.

To qualify for the Student Non-Degree category, the EVP must also meet one of the following four criteria:

  • Financed directly or indirectly by the US government, the student's home government, or an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute
  • Carried out pursuant to an agreement between the US government and a foreign government
  • Carried out pursuant to a written agreement between:
    • An American and foreign educational institution; or
    • An American educational institution and a foreign government; or
    • US state or local government and a foreign government
  • The student is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds 

Student Intern

The Student Intern category is available to foreign students currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States. This J-1 category is different from the other J-1 categories in that it is strictly monitored at the beginning, middle, and end of the internship. The internship in the US must fulfill the educational objectives for the student’s current degree program at his or her home institution. The intent of this category is to bridge the gap between formal education and practical work experience.

The internship may consist of no more than 20 percent clerical work and cannot duplicate a student's prior experience. A student internship must be full time (at least 32 hours per week) and the Student Intern's direct supervisor will be required to make a written evaluation of the internship at the conclusion. If the internship is more than 6 months in duration, the supervisor will also be required to make a written evaluation at the mid-point of the internship.

An internship cannot place the Student Intern in a clinical position or have the Student Intern engaging in any other kind of work that involves patient care or contact, including any work that would require Student Interns to provide therapy, medication, or other clinical or medical care (e.g., sports or physical therapy, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy, or early childhood education).

To be eligible for the Student Intern category, a foreign student must:

  • Be currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the United States
  • Be in the United States primarily to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer
  • Be in good academic standing at his or her home institution outside the United States
  • Return to his or her academic program outside the United States and fulfill his or her education requirements for that institution after completion of the student internship program