Change of 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.
If you have not already done so, accept your admission to the program in GradApp (under “My Applications”).
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.
Submit the Student Information e-form.
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.
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.
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.