Three people speaking together
Former Provost Mangione with visiting Fulbright scholar
4 people sitting around a small table

Visiting Scholar Information

In keeping with the university’s strategic priorities, St. John’s welcomes visiting scholars from around the world to undertake research, typically for a period of up to one year. The entire St. John’s community—faculty and students alike—benefits from the exceptional diversity and wealth of experiences and perspectives brought by international scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

Prospective visiting scholars should be faculty members and/or doctoral candidates from institutions outside the U.S., and should typically hold terminal degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D.) unless they are in-progress graduate students. They must also have:

  • Sufficient English language proficiency to carry out the project specified for their stay at St. John’s.
  • A dedicated SJU faculty sponsor or mentor (for applicants with terminal degrees and those without, respectively), who will be responsible for facilitating their time at St. John’s.
  • Department chair and dean approval (or approval by his/her designate).
  • Adequate health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents that covers them for sickness or accidents during the exchange, as mandated by the U.S. Department of State. (Note: the International Student and Scholar Services Office, also known as the ISSSO, will provide recommended insurance information to the scholar.)

Please note: Individual St. John’s college deans may set unique criteria for visiting scholars in their division, though these should not contravene the university’s overall policies.  In addition, any visiting scholar who will work directly with students may need to undergo a background check.  Sponsoring departments should be in contact with Human Resources with questions about appropriate work for scholars and whether a background check is necessary.

More Information

Any dedicated St. John’s faculty member may serve as a sponsor to visiting scholars or as a mentor to in-progress doctoral candidates, and will be responsible for facilitating their time at St. John’s. The basic process follows:


1. Prospective scholars and their St. John’s faculty sponsors/mentors work together to determine whether they would collaborate well given the intended research project.

2. John’s faculty members speak with their chairs and deans to ensure that there is appropriate support within the department and college to host the scholar.

3. If that supports exist, the prospective scholar should submit the following documents to the sponsor/mentor:


In addition to the steps above, please complete the School of Education Visiting Scholar Checklist and return to the school for review.


Most international scholars will require a J-1 visa to come to the U.S.  Some scholars may have their visas sponsored by an outside entity such as the Fulbright program.  In this case, scholars will receive a DS-2019 from their sponsoring entity. A DS-2019 is a U.S. immigration form that will allow the scholar to apply for a J-1 visa 

If the scholar will need a J-1 visa sponsored by St. John’s University, they should submit the St. John’s DS-2019 application, along with all required documentation as indicated in the application form.  Please note:

  • The DS-2019 application and supporting materials should only be sent to ISSSO along with the Request to Host Visiting Scholar form, once it has been completed and has all the required signatures.
  • The DS-2019 application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the sponsoring faculty member. This letter will be used by the scholar to support their application for a visa, as well as to support any request for leave, etc. from their home institution.
  • The DS-2019 must include Proof of English proficiency.  (See application for details on what proof is acceptable.)
  • In order to apply for a J-1 visa, the scholar will need to pay a $220 fee to the U.S. government after the DS-2019 is issued.

Once the application is received, the Office of International Education (OIE) team will email the scholar with complete J-1 visa application instructions, and to request any supporting information.

After the ISSSO reviews the completed application form, a member of the OIE team will e-mail both the scholar and St. John’s faculty member once the DS-2019 form is issued, a process that usually takes one week once all materials have been submitted. OIE will e-mail the DS-2019 form will provide the scholar with the information needed to make an appointment with a U.S. consular office to apply for a J-1 visa.

The scholar will then be responsible for contacting the ISSSO and their St. John’s faculty sponsor/mentor if and when their J-1 visa is issued.

Questions? Email Jamia Brooks

  • Access to the University library, gym, and computer labs
  • A St. John’s ID and email account
  • Opportunities for collaborative research with SJU faculty
  • Access to presentations, lectures, and cultural events hosted by the University
  • Participation in events and training organized by the Center for Teaching and Learning
  • GroupMe group for connecting with fellow visiting scholars

Generally Unavailable:

  • Computers
  • Funding
  • Office space (except as available in a given department)
  • Housing

Visiting Scholars who are in the U.S. in the J-1 Research Scholar, Professor, or Short-Term Scholar category are here primarily to teach, research, collaborate, and/or observe. However, they can engage in study that is incidental (secondary) to their program objective. This study must be part-time and non-degree seeking.

J-1 Scholars are allowed to enroll in courses in the U.S. as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Courses are not part of a degree program.
  • Enrollment is part-time.
  • Enrollment is incidental (secondary) to the primary objective of the scholar’s program.
  • The scholar is fulfilling all other requirements of their J-1 visa category

If a program of study becomes the scholar’s primary objective, their immigration status may be at risk.  Scholars who express interest in enrolling in a degree program should seek the guidance of ISSSO beforeapplication, to understand potential ramifications and appropriate processes.