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International Visiting Scholars

The Visiting Scholar Program is currently paused. New applications are not being accepted at this time. Please check back regularly for updates.

The Office of International Academic Initiatives (IAI) welcomes international visiting scholars and guests. We are committed to international engagement across campus by supporting international collaborations, research partnerships and faculty mobility.

IAI administers the Visiting International Research Scholar program for those scholars who wish to affiliate with Montclair State to conduct research.

Departments wishing to hire an international scholar to teach should work with Human Resources and the Office of Global Engagement to facilitate the employment and visa processes.

Scholar Eligibility

Visiting scholars with a PhD or PhD candidates with teaching or research appointments at a university are eligible to apply for residency at Montclair State. Scholars without a PhD but who are otherwise appropriately qualified may apply for review.

Visiting Scholars must be matched with a Montclair State faculty host for the duration of their affiliation.

Priority will be given to:

  • Fully funded scholars, especially Fulbright-funded scholars or scholars funded by the home country or institution (Fulbright scholars will have their visa applications executed and reviewed by the Fulbright Foundation).
  • Scholars who are at an institution that has an institutional or exchange agreement with Montclair State.
  • Scholars who either have a relationship with a Montclair State faculty member or who are renowned in the profession or known in the field.
  • Scholars with specialization and ability to generate co-authored papers with our faculty.

Visa Requirements and the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

Visiting Scholars will be required to have a J-1 visa prior to their arrival on campus. The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa classification was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges

J-1 Visas are issued by the Department of State under the auspices of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Please visit the Office of Global Engagement for J-1 Visiting Scholar Categories.

The Office of Global Engagement will assist visiting scholars with the sponsorship paperwork required to apply for a J-1 visa.

English Language Requirements 

Montclair State and the U.S. State Department requires all Visiting Scholars to demonstrate English language proficiency.

Applicants will automatically be considered proficient in English if either of the following applies:

  • Native language is English
  • Completed a degree at an English speaking university (copy of degree required)
  • Teacher of English with earned BA or MA in English

All other applicants must provide one of the following documentations to qualify for the J-1 visa:

  • TOEFL score 70iBT
  • IELTS score 6.0
  • English3 J1English Interview, 3.0
  • Duolingo score 95
  • Pearson PTE-A score 48
  • ITEP score 3.7
  • Language Certificate demonstrating B2 Level or higher based on the European Framework

Departments must also conduct a phone or online interview with the scholar to determine suitability to research or teach at Montclair State University.

The above scores represent the minimum to allow consideration of the scholar application.

Montclair State Faculty: Guidance to Invite a Visiting Scholar

A Montclair State faculty member may initiate an application to host a visiting scholar at Montclair State through the following steps:

  1. Complete and submit the Host Department Application  with your Chair of Department and your Dean approval.
  • Scholar applicants must participate in an in-person or video conference interview with their proposed Montclair State faculty host prior to receiving an invitation.
  • Visiting Scholar applicants must meet all eligibility requirements indicated above.
  • Consideration must be given to the university’s Global Compliance and Institutional Review Board requirements as appropriate.
  1. Email the signed Host Department Application and the following supporting documents to the Director, Office of International Academic Initiatives at
    • CV (Curriculum Vitae) and copy of highest Academic Qualification
    • Research proposal/Statement of Purpose/Job Description (one page)
    • Evidence of English Language Proficiency as indicated above


Requests should be submitted no later than June 1st for the fall semester or October 1st for the spring semester. These dates are important to allow time for the visa process which can take at least three months.

Apply to Be a Visiting Research Scholar

If you are interested in becoming an International Visiting Scholar please send a letter of introduction, your CV and a brief research proposal to the relevant department chairperson for review. If you are matched, the department/professor will submit the application on your behalf.

If you have a general question about becoming a Visiting Scholar please email Chelsey Watts at

J-1 Visiting Scholars

International Guests

Letter of Invitation

A formal review of a request to host a scholar must be conducted by the Chair of the department and the Dean and approved by the Office of International Academic Initiatives.

Once approved, an invitation letter will be issued by and will contain; the name of the visiting scholar, purpose (teaching or research), the topic and the area of their research interest, host department and host faculty members names, dates of their stay, funding source for the visiting scholar and any fees that may be payable to Montclair State University. MSU will prepare the Letter of Invitation to the Scholar that he/she may use for the visa appointment and for scholarship/fellowship applications, as appropriate.

A host faculty member must be assigned to each visiting scholar. The person will be the main point of contact and is responsible for supervising the scholar’s research and supporting the scholar during their stay at Montclair State University. The scholar must be provided with a suitable space to work on campus.

Host and Scholar Expectations

MSU Faculty Expectations

The host faculty will be the liaison between the visiting scholar, the Office of International Academic Initiatives, and campus community. As the primary contact, the host faculty will provide assistance during the residency of the visiting scholar and will be expected to:

  1. Conduct an online (or in person) interview with the scholar applicant.
  2. Arrange an office space for the visiting scholar and orient the scholar to the campus.
  3. Introduce the visiting scholar to the department and other colleagues.
  4. Refer the scholar to appropriate resources, lectures, and other opportunities.
  5. If possible, pick up and drop off the visiting scholar at the airport and help the scholar settle in.
  6. Work with the visiting scholar in finding off-campus housing with assistance from IAI.
  7. Schedule regular meetings with the scholar and ensure progress is being made with their research.
  8. Identify opportunities for the scholar to learn about U.S. culture and be actively engaged with the campus community.
  9. Notify the department and IAI of the visiting scholar’s expected arrival date on campus and departure date.
  10. Notify the IAI if the scholar is absent for a significant period of time and/or not making reasonable progress with their research.

Visiting Scholar Expectations

Visiting scholars should interact significantly with the campus community. In addition to successfully completing the proposed research or teaching assignment, a visiting scholar will be expected to

  1. Deliver at least one public presentation at a departmental or college level.
  2. Comply with all university regulations.
  3. Deliver presentations, meet with classes or student groups that share common characteristics or interests, participate as a guest speaker within the scholar’s disciplines, or in courses related to language and culture.
  4. Regularly be present on campus and meet with your faculty host.
  5. Actively pursue opportunities to learn about U.S. culture.
  6. Submit a report on achievements, presentations and research efforts to the faculty host and the Office of International Academic Initiatives prior to your departure.

Visiting scholars are responsible for complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J-visa.

  1. Upon your arrival on campus you must check in with both the Office of International Academic Initiatives and the Office of Global Engagement
  2. The Office of Global Engagement will advise on all matters related to your J visa status and compliance. Contact:
  3. Scholars wishing to bring family members must notify the Office of Global Engagement to request guidance on visa requirements.

International Visiting Scholar Fees

Montclair State University charges a $750 visiting scholar fee, per semester. The following exceptions to the service fee apply:

  • No fee will be charged to visiting scholars whose stay at Montclair State is limited to two months or less.
  • No fee will be charged to visiting scholars supported by the U.S. government’s Fulbright scholarships or other U.S. government scholarship program.
  • No fee will be charged to scholars who are employed by institutions that are partner institutions of Montclair State University.
  • A reduced fee will be charged to scholars enrolled in a master’s degree program (reduced service fee, $100 per semester).
  • No fee will be charged to scholars employed by Montclair State University as an adjunct instructor or a post doctoral fellow.

The initial fee is due upon arrival and will be billed for scholars in residence for multiple semesters. The fee may be paid by wire transfer, credit card, cash, or check made out to Montclair State University.


Montclair State offers no long-term housing for Visiting Scholars. The host department may request a short-term stay for the scholar directly through Res Life in the Guest House, but accommodation is subject to availability, and in no case will it extend beyond two weeks. Children are not permitted in the Guest House. It is the visiting scholar’s responsibility to find off campus accommodation with the assistance of the faculty host. Scholars may also access the University’s Off-Campus Housing site.

Support for MSU Faculty Hosts

Visiting Scholar Host Fund

Faculty hosts who are mentoring scholars may submit reimbursement requests (with receipts) for up to $150 per scholar to IAI for expenditures directly related to hosting your scholar.

Some examples include:

  • mileage/tolls for airport pick-up
  • refreshments for a departmental meet and greet
  • materials or refreshments for a scholar presentation to the campus community
  • entrance fees to academic conference or cultural event related to scholar’s research
  • any other reasonable activity and expense associated with welcoming, supporting and engaging our visiting scholars.

All reimbursements are subject to University Expense reimbursement policies.

Any faculty who is a “mentor” for a scholar may request reimbursement by submitting an expense request in WorkDay with actual receipts attached. All requests and reimbursements must meet University policy and be submitted with a brief, clear explanation of the expense within two weeks of the activity. To be eligible for funding, the scholar must be visiting at Montclair State through an invitation by the Office of International Academic Initiatives for at least two months.

If there is any question of whether an expense is appropriate, faculty hosts are advised to seek approval from IAI before making the expenditure.

Other Support

IAI wants to support faculty hosts to integrate their scholars with the campus community. We will co-host and promote events in which your scholar participates and try to connect your visiting scholar with other services and/or with faculty in other disciplines where appropriate. Please reach us if you’d like to discuss ways our office can support you.