UMD: A Globally Connected University
Congratulations on the upcoming completion of your studies. As an international student there are some procedures and regulations you should keep in mind as you approach your final term.
Completion of Program
Immigration defines completion of program when all course requirements are completed for the degree. This means that once you have completed the required courses, you have completed your program regardless of the semester of your graduation. You may not request to take additional courses in a new semester once your required coursework has been completed.
Your grace period (F-1 60 days, J-1 30 days) will begin the end of the term in which you complete all degree requirements (this includes thesis/dissertation submission). Your I-20/DS-2019 will be shortened to the end date of the term.
According to Immigration, a student has completed the degree when she/he has satisfied all academic program requirements. This means your I-20 must end on the final day of the semester you are enrolled in your last required courses, regardless of the semester of your graduation. You may not request to take additional courses in a new semester once your required coursework has been completed.
If you will be completing in Fall or Spring semester and do not need to be registered full-time to complete degree requirements, you must submit a Part-time Authorization Form (via iTerp) to ISSS by the end of the add/drop period.
- On Campus Work
F-1 and J-1 students are permitted to work on campus up to the last day of their final enrolled term. It is the student's responsibility to inform your employer that you can no longer work on campus from this date.
- Practical Training
F-1 and J-1 students may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1) that will allow them to work after the completion of their program. Please see the employment sections of our website for detailed information regarding eligibility and procedures for applying for these benefits.
Pursuing Further Studies
- At UMD: Students who wish to pursue another degree at UMD will go through the SEVIS program level change process. If admitted into a new degree program, international admissions will issue a new I-20/DS-2019 for your new program.
- At another institution: Students who wish to pursue a degree at another institution should follow the SEVIS transfer procedures. Keep in mind; UMD must transfer your SEVIS record to your new school no later than 60 days after the completion of program for an F-1 student and 30 days for a J-1.
Change of Status
An F-1 or J-1 student may be able to remain in the U.S. while a pending change of status application is adjudicated. Keep in mind that a change of status application must be filed within the grace period.
Travel Outside the U.S.
After you complete your degree requirements it is not possible to travel outside the U.S. and return to the U.S. during your grace period in F-1 or J-1 status, unless you have practical training authorization and proof of employment. You may travel within the U.S. during the grace period.