Academic Changes

Read the information in the tabs below to learn how to update your I-20 or DS-2019 if you make any changes to your academic program. To request an updated document for change of major or a program extension, submit the applicable e-form in UA International.

Major

F-1 students: You must request a new I-20 within 10 days of changing your major.

J-1 students are not eligible for a change of major. If you are a J-1 student and you want to change your major, please meet with an international student advisor to discuss your specific situation further.
 

To Change Your Major:

Undergraduate Students: Meet with the academic advisor for the new major.

Graduate Students: Go to Admissions on the Graduate College website and work with your academic department to submit an application for a change of major. 

After your major is updated in UAccess, submit the Change of Major e-form in UA International to request an updated I-20. Normal processing time is 10 business days.

Degree Level

F-1 students: If you have been admitted to a new degree program at the UA, you must request a Change of Education Level I-20 in order to pursue the new degree.

J-1 students admitted to a new degree program at the UA should meet with an international student advisor at International Student Services (ISS) to discuss your options for pursuing the degree.
 

When to Apply

If you are completing your current degree or on a period of post-completion OPT, you must request the change of level before the end of your 60-day grace period. The new degree program must begin within 5 months of the end date of your current program or period of post-completion OPT.

If you do not apply for a change of level before the end of your grace period, or if your new program is more than 5 months in the future, ISS cannot process your change of level request. You must depart the U.S. and work with the Graduate College to receive an initial I-20. You will be required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for your new SEVIS number, and you may be required to apply for a new visa to reenter the U.S.
 

How to Apply

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree at the UA, review Application Procedures on the Graduate College website for instructions for how to apply. After you have been admitted to a UA graduate program, your admission letter will be sent directly to International Student Services (ISS) from the Graduate College.

If you are interested in studying law, you must apply directly to the James E. Rogers College of Law.

After you have been admitted, complete the steps below before the end of your 60-day grace period. There is a hold on your account preventing future registration. It will not be removed until you have completed the required steps.

Step 1

After you have discussed your plans with your future academic department (academic/faculty advisor or program coordinator), submit the Change of Level e-form in UA International. If you have not yet received your diploma for your current degree program, you must also submit the Expected Degree Completion e-form so we can confirm the expected completion date of your current program.

Step 2

Complete the Immigration Tutorial online. At the end of the tutorial, there is a 10-question quiz. There is no limit on the number of times you can take the quiz. You must answer all questions correctly to access the Immigration Tutorial e-form. Submit the e-form to confirm that you have completed the tutorial.

Step 3

Submit the Student Information e-form.

Step 4

If you have not already done so, please accept your admission to the program in GradApp (under “My Applications”).

Step 5

Call the ISS front desk at (520) 621-4627 to schedule an appointment with an international student advisor. Your Change of Level request will not be approved until after you have met with an international student advisor.
 

Travel

If you are approved for a change of level, your SEVIS number will remain the same, and you will not be required to depart the U.S. before beginning your new degree program, even if the visa in your passport has expired. However, if you choose to travel outside the U.S. before the beginning of the new program and your visa is expired, you must renew your visa in order to reenter the U.S.
 

Employment

If you are a currently enrolled student going directly from one degree program to another (for example, finishing your bachelor’s in the spring and beginning your master’s in the fall) you will continue to have on-campus employment authorization after your Change of Education Level I-20 has been issued. However, there may be other university policies regarding enrollment requirements for student workers that apply. Please check with your UA employer.

If you are on post-completion OPT, your OPT authorization will end when your new degree program begins, even if it is prior to the end date of your EAD card.

Program End Date

For immigration purposes, your program end date is the date that you complete your degree requirements, not the date of your graduation ceremony or degree conferral.

LEVEL

I-20/DS-2019 END DATE

  • Undergraduate students

  • Masters students with coursework in the final term

The last day of final exams week for the last semester or session you are enrolled (review the Academic Calendar for the exact dates)

  • Masters students with thesis or master's report

  • Doctoral students

The date you submit the final version of your dissertation/thesis, with revisions, to the Graduate College. If you submit your dissertation/thesis by the submission deadline on the Graduate College website, your end date will be the last day of exam week of that semester.

For enrollment requirements in your final semester, including completion during summer or winter sessions, review Full-Time Enrollment.
 

Extending Your Program

Request a program extension if you will not complete your degree by the end date indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019.  

You should submit your request to International Student Services (ISS) during your final semester or session before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires, and at least 3 weeks prior to your I-20 or DS-2019 end date. Extensions can be granted for up to 1 year at a time. If you must apply for more than one extension, ISS will take into consideration the reasons for past extension requests when reviewing your eligibility for additional extensions.
 

How to Apply

Submit the Program Extension e-form in UA International.

  • In the e-form, you will be asked to provide the name and email address for your academic advisor. The advisor you indicate will receive an email with a link to UA International, so he or she can provide information about your degree completion date and the reason for the extension. If you have more than one major, you must also submit the Secondary Advisor Information e-form.

  • You must upload proof of funding. Review the Cost of Attendance: Continuing Undergraduate and Graduate Students for the amount required. 

  • If you are submitting funding from family or friends, you must also upload a signed Declaration of Support.

  • Graduate students receiving university funding: you can either upload a copy of your departmental funding letter or your academic advisor can provide the funding information in the advisor portion of the e-form. 

Normal processing time is 10 business days.
 

Shortening Your Program

If you will complete your degree requirements before your I-20 or DS-2019 end date, please submit a letter from your academic advisor confirming your true completion date to ISS so we can shorten your I-20 or DS-2019.  Please remember that you must stop all on-campus employment by the end date of your I-20.