Skip to main content

Finishing Your Program

Finishing Your Degree or Program

The end date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 is an estimate of the time it typically takes to finish your degree or program. This estimated time to completion is set when initially requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 from ISSS. 

Program End Dates

For IEP, AMP, undergraduate, certificate programs, exchange, and graduate/profession programs without a thesis/dissertation requirement, program completion dates are based on the last day of finals.

For graduate/professional students with a thesis/dissertation requirement, program completion dates are based on one of the following:

  • The last day of the semester in which you defend your thesis/dissertation
  • The date of defense
  • The last day of finals for any required courses (for OPT only)
Grace Periods

F-1 and J-1 students have a "grace period" and must take action to remain in the US. If no action is taken in a timely manner, the student must depart by the end of their grace period.

  • F-1 students have a 60-day grace period upon completion of their studies or at the end of their practical training.
  • J-1 students have a 30-day grace period upon completion of their studies or at the end of their academic training.

Options that Must Be Taken Before the Grace Period

  • Extension of I-20 or DS-2019. If you need more time to complete your degree/program, you may request an extension before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires if you have a compelling academic or medical reason. More information can be found on the F-1 Student or J-1 Student information page under Maintaining Your Status section. 
    For J-1 Students:

Options That Can Be Taken During the Grace Period

Please e-mail if you have question about your options or to receive further guidance.