International Scholars

The Humphrey School’s mission is to inspire, educate and support innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world.

As part of this mission, the Humphrey School recognizes the importance of welcoming scholars from around the U.S. and the world. Visiting scholars enrich our community, contribute to the diversity of views and experiences at the Humphrey School, and enhance our ability to create change in our communities, the nation, and the world.

Each year, the Humphrey School is able to host a limited number of visiting scholars. We prioritize the match of research interests between visiting scholars and HHH faculty to ensure a rich experience for visiting scholars and promote meaningful collaborations. Visiting scholars do not hold academic appointments and may not teach. The invitation to be a visiting scholar carries limited rights and privileges described below.

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Visiting scholar benefits

  • May visit the Humphrey School for up to one year, within the limits of their Visa;
  • Will have a courtesy designation that does not signify a formal association, i.e., visiting scholars may not claim a University affiliation for the purpose of applying for grants/contracts, and should not represent themselves in their publications and correspondence as having a University of Minnesota or Humphrey School of Public Affairs affiliation;
  • Are required to pay a fee equivalent to Humphrey School’s costs for hosting ($6,500 for a 12-month period as of 2019–2020 academic year);
  • Have access to reading and borrowing privileges in the University libraries;
  • May purchase photocopying services at University Libraries and Printing Services;
  • Have access to computer labs and may purchase printing services in labs;
  • May use the services of the International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) 
  • Are assigned a shared cubicle work space, if requested by the faculty member;
  • May use University recreational facilities upon payment of a separate fee to University Recreation and Wellness.
  • May enroll in or audit courses, but only as a Non-Degree Seeking Student, per UMN guidelines.

Eligibility guidelines

  • Visiting Scholars must be hosted by a Humphrey School faculty member who provides ongoing guidance on the Scholar’s research activities.
  • Visiting Scholars must be fully funded with resources outside the University of Minnesota.
  • Visiting Scholars assume full financial responsibility for visa administrative fees of the University ISSS (if international scholar) and responsibility for arranging their own financial support and benefits (including health insurance for visitor and any accompanying family members) for the duration of the stay. U.S. government regulations mandate that J-1 Exchange Visitors have adequate financial resources to meet all expenses related to their J-1 program (monthly minimum was $1,300 for 2018–19). 
  • Visiting Scholars must fulfill the English Proficiency Requirement for J-1 Exchange Visitors.  
  • All Visiting Scholars and their dependents are required to enroll in the Student Health Benefit Plan. Please visit the Student Health and Benefits website to review UMN health and benefits policy and pricing.
  • Visiting Scholars must meet all application deadlines, and arrive promptly on their specified program date.

Application process

All requests for Visiting Scholars must be submitted via the online application system at least 4 months before the requested arrival date. For international Visiting Scholars, all supporting materials for the visa process (e.g., proof of funding) must be submitted at least 3 months before the arrival date.

  1. Faculty members who are in communication with a potential Visiting Scholar and are willing to serve as a mentor to this scholar throughout their stay at the University should provide the following information to the Associate Dean:
    • Rationale for accepting this scholar’s request (brief summary of the applicant’s research interests and your interest in serving as their mentor)
    • Contact information for the applicant (including name, email address, mailing address, home institution)
    • Applicant’s CV
    • Anticipated start and end dates of the applicant’s visit
    • Name of applicant’s home institution and financial sponsor
  2. If accepted, scholars will be emailed detailed instructions on the next steps to take in applying for a DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status).

English language proficiency requirement

The English Language Proficiency Requirement must be met by all Visiting Scholars. This requirement may be met through one of several approved tests, or through a Minnesota English Language Program (MELP) interview. Requests for a MELP interview must be submitted directly by the Humphrey School on behalf of the visiting scholar. An additional fee of $75.00 will be charged to conduct a MELP interview.


Visiting Scholars and their dependents are required to meet the University health insurance requirement during their time at the University of Minnesota. This requirement can be met by purchasing the Student Health Benefit Plan. Information about this plan can be accessed through the Office of Student Health Benefits. This plan should be purchased during your orientation.


Visiting Scholars are responsible for securing their own housing. There is no on-campus housing for visiting scholars; off-campus housing is best secured several weeks in advance of the beginning of classes each semester. The ISSS Housing Office provides lists of available apartments. 

Fee structure

The table below provides an outline of the Humphrey School’s fee structure for Visiting Scholars. The HHH Visiting Scholar Yearly Fee can be prorated for visits shorter than a year. The MELP Fee is only charged upon the scholars request to schedule a MELP interview in order to fulfill the English Proficiency requirement in the DS-2019 application. Scholars are required to pay the MELP Fee, regardless of whether or not they pass the exam.

Invoices are issued to Visiting Scholars upon their arrival to the Humphrey School. If a Visiting Scholar wishes to pay before they arrive, they should contact the International Scholars Program at [email protected].

Please note that the "Other Required Fees" listed below are charged by third parties and the prices reflected are updated every semester. Scholars should always check the websites of the corresponding organizations to receive the most current policies and prices. The fee outline is designed to only outline the required fees for participation in the program, and does not reflect all expenses (such as housing and general living costs) that a Scholar may incur while in the United States.

Fees charged by the Humphrey School

HHH Visiting Scholar Yearly Fee $6,500/year
ISSS Processing Fee $310
MELP Fee (optional) $75

Other required fees

UMN Health Insurance Fee See SHBP website for details:
UMN Health Insurance for Dependents See SHBP website for details:
SEVIS Fee $180
Visa Application Fee $140

Arrival and orientation

Orientation: Before arrival, Visiting Scholars will schedule a time to go through Visiting Scholar Orientation by emailing [email protected]. Orientation may only occur after the start date listed on the Visiting Scholars DS-2019. Orientation includes:

  • Completing Check-In at ISSS
  • Signing up for UMN Health Insurance through the Office of Student Health Benefits
  • Obtaining a UMN ID card
  • Setting up a UMN email address
  • Obtaining access to the International Fellows and Scholars lounge (HHH 125)
  • Granting access to UMN ID card at the Front Desk

While Here:


Before departure, Visiting Scholars should attend to the following:

  • Check out of ISSS
  • Remove all personal belongings from assigned work space, and leave the space clean and presentable


  • Humphrey School Front Desk: The Front Desk on the first floor of the Humphrey School hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the regular semester.  
  • Work space: Visiting scholars will be assigned a cubicle that is shared with other scholars or graduate students. 
  • Lounge areas: Scholars are invited to access tea and coffee, and use the refrigerator, microwave and toaster in the first and second floor copy rooms, and second and third floor kitchens.  Scholars are also welcome to use the international visitors’ lounge in HHH 125, which includes computers and a printer/copier, refrigerator, and microwave. Please ask [email protected] or staff at the HHH Front Desk for the door code.
  • Keys: Keys will be provided for cubicle cabinets. Humphrey School Front Desk staff can activate the scholar’s University Identification Card to open card access doors to the building.
  • Mailbox: Mailboxes are not provided to international scholars. If you plan to receive mail at the Humphrey School, please consult with staff at the School Front Desk.
  • Computer: The Humphrey School does not provide computers for visiting scholars. For printing, please ask HHH Front Desk staff to assist with printing access. The machine in HHH 125 is available for international scholars.
  • Access to computer labs: Visiting scholars may obtain access to University public computer labs.
  • Office supplies: Visiting scholars are responsible for purchasing the materials and supplies needed while at the University. Supplies can be purchased in the University bookstore located in the basement of Coffman Memorial Union on the UMN East Bank.
  • Professional cards: If professional cards are desired, visiting scholars may purchase them through the University Printing Services or printing businesses in the area. Any affiliation with the University should indicate "Visiting Scholar."  
  • Maps: Campus maps and directions to campus locations can be found at
  • Short visit: If the scholar will be staying for less than a month, there is not adequate time to obtain a University Identification Card, or a University Email address. Scholars should take this into account when planning their visit.
  • Intellectual property: Visiting scholars may be expected to sign an intellectual property agreement that recognizes the University of Minnesota's right to ownership of research work completed in collaboration with University faculty.
  • Security: Do not leave valuable objects in view and always lock valuables in file drawers or cabinets, even if stepping away for only a few minutes. Please do not allow another person to enter with you through a locked door unless you know the person and that person’s association with the Humphrey School. Please keep your home and apartment doors locked.