Graduation and Beyond
In Your Last Semester
- Apply for graduation.
- Verify with your academic advisor regarding completion of academic requirements.
- If you find you will require another semester to complete requirements, notify the International Student Services Office (ISSO).
- Check the program end date on your I-20 to see if you will require an extension. If so, you must apply for it prior to the current expiration date.
- If you wish to invite friends or family to come to the U.S. to attend your graduation ceremony, you may obtain invitation letters from the ISSO to use in the tourist visa process.
- If you will remain in the U.S. after graduation, make appropriate preparations, such as applying for OPT.
Congratulations on completing your degree program! You have the following options after graduation:
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) – up to one year of work authorization per educational level. You can apply up to three months prior to graduation and up to 60 days after. USCIS must receive your OPT application on or before the 60th day. USCIS processing time is 2-3 months.
- Start another academic program at UT Dallas – You must obtain a new Form I-20 within 60 days of graduation. You must start classes on the new program within five months of graduation.
- Transfer to another school – You must arrange for your SEVIS immigration record to be released to the new school within 60 days after graduation. You will also want to check with an international student advisor at the new school to determine if a transfer clearance form is required.
- Change to another visa category – Your F-1 status remains valid for 60 days after graduation. If you will apply for a change of status while remaining in the U.S., petition must be filed by the 60th day to avoid any gap in status.
- Leave the U.S. – You must leave within 60 days of your completion date.
Whether you are remaining in the U.S. or returning home, you can connect with other UT Dallas graduates. Talk to the Alumni Relations office about benefits, campus news and ways you can contribute.