Students who complete all required courses for their program, excluding thesis or equivalent, in a particular semester including summer, are considered to have completed their program of study by the end of that semester, whether or not they will walk at graduation.
At the end of a semester when students are considered to have completed all required courses (whether or not they walk at graduation), their I-20 or DS-2019 form will be shortened to a specific date at the end of that semester. This date will become their final program end date. Generally this date is defined as the graduation day of that semester.
Students who need to complete a thesis or equivalent are eligible to be considered as continuing their course requirements if they register for the appropriate thesis (or equivalent) credit hours the next semester (this includes the summer term).
Student Options after Completion of Required Courses
If a student is determined by his academic advisor as having completed all courses required for graduation, the student must choose one of the following options:
F-1 students have 60 days after their program end date to complete all course requirements to stay in the United States for vacation purposes. J-1 students have 30 days. Students are not eligible to work (without Department of Homeland Security authorization), or go to school (without applying to a new academic program).
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
F-1 student must apply for OPT and have their application mailed and accepted by Homeland Security by the 60th day after their program end date. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student’s chances of receiving OPT and/or being in status.
Start a New Degree Program
F-1 students may start a new program at ASU. Students must complete all necessary admission requirements, and receive an updated I-20 before the 60th day after their program end date. This process can take weeks therefore students must plan accordingly.
F-1 students may choose to start a new program at another university. Students must transfer their records and receive a new I-20 from the new school before the end of the 60 days after completing all required courses. Students must inform the Office of International Programs if they plan to transfer. It is the responsibility of the student to complete all steps in the transfer process.