Fall 2020

We know there are many questions and concerns about the Fall 2020 semester. Please review the Healthy Together Plan and attendance options for Fall 2020. Then check the chart below that corresponds with your status. All international students are required to notify ISSS of their plans for the fall semester through completion of eforms in InterLink.

Miami University will begin the Fall 2020 semester on August 17th. The University originally planned to start fall semester on August 24th, but will now begin classes one week earlier. This shift will better ensure the health and safety of our campus community by allowing the completion of all classes before Thanksgiving break. Following the break, all final exams will be completed remotely. Review the updated academic calendar dates.

Enrollment Options

Full-Time Enrollment

  • Full-time enrollment is when a student enrolls in a full-time course load for fall semester. Full-time enrollment is defined as at least 12 credits for undergraduates and at least 9 credits for graduate students.
  • Students participating in approved study abroad through the Miami University Education Abroad office are registered in a study abroad course at Miami and considered full-time students.

Reduced Course Load

  • A reduced course load is part-time enrollment with ISSS authorization. Undergraduate students in their final semester of study and graduate students who have completed all required coursework should review eligibility for a Reduced Course Load for fall semester.

Part Time Enrollment

  • Part-time enrollment is when a student who is not eligible for a reduced course load with ISSS authorization enrolls less than full-time for fall semester.

Leave of Absence

  • A leave of absence or "gap semester" is when a student decides to not enroll in any coursework for the semester.

New and Returning Students

Newly admitted or returning to Miami after a leave of absence or suspension of study

  • Initial Students: Students who did not yet study in the U.S. as of March 2020
  • SEVIS Transfers: Students who studied in the U.S. at another school as of March 2020 and have transferred their SEVIS record to Miami
Information for New and Returning Students
Details In U.S. Outside U.S.
Miami Attendance Option On-Campus Option Remote Fall Option or Defer Attendance
Government Enrollment Requirements
  • All Students: Enroll full-time
  • Initial Students: At least one course must be taken in person
  • SEVIS Transfers: No restrictions on course format
  • No enrollment requirements
  • Be careful to select coursework that may be completed online if applicable
I-20 or DS-2019 (SEVIS Record) Actions SEVIS record will be registered or validated to reflect student is studying in U.S. SEVIS record will be deferred to Spring 2021. Student will receive updated I-20 or DS-2019 in October.
Student Actions
  • Complete InterLink “Fall 2020 New Student Study Plans & Tasks” by August 17
  • Enter the U.S. and complete document submission by deadline:
    • SEVIS Transfers: September 1
    • Initial Students: September 14

Continuing Students

Actively enrolled at any Miami University campus on March 9, 2020 and have maintained legal status since that date

Information for Continuing Students
Details In U.S. Outside U.S. Outside U.S.,
Leave of Absence
Miami Attendance Option

On-Campus Option or Remote Fall Option

On-campus Option is intended for students present on campus, whether attending courses in-person or remotely.

Remote Fall Option Take a Leave of Absence
Government Enrollment Requirements
  • Enroll full-time or apply for reduced course load if eligible
  • No restrictions on online enrollment
Enroll full-time to maintain legal status No enrollment required
I-20 or DS-2019 (SEVIS Record) Actions SEVIS record will be registered or validated to reflect student is studying in U.S.

If enrolled full-time and continuing at same degree level, SEVIS record will be registered or validated to reflect student is studying outside U.S. If beginning a new degree level, SEVIS record may be deferred to Spring 2021 and student will receive updated I-20 or DS-2019 in October.

If enrolled part-time without authorization, ISSS will terminate your SEVIS record.

Be careful to select coursework that may be completed online

ISSS will terminate your SEVIS record.
Student Actions
  • Submit Miami attendance option by August 21.
  • Submit InterLink “Fall 2020 Continuing Student Study Plans & Tasks” by August 17.
  • If studying on campus, move-in will occur between September 14 through September 20. In-person classes will begin September 21.
  • Submit Miami attendance option by August 21.
  • Submit InterLink “Fall 2020 Continuing Student Study Plans & Tasks” by August 17.
  • Depart U.S. by August 17 if part-time

Frequently Asked Questions

Visa & SEVIS Record

I am planning to apply for a visa and/or travel to the U.S. to study for Fall semester. Do I need special documentation?

Students applying for visas for study in the U.S. or traveling to the U.S. for Fall semester may request a reprinted visa document (I-20 or DS-2019) with remarks confirming that Miami will offer coursework in person as well as online in InterLink

Students who will remain outside the U.S. for fall semester or who are already present in the U.S. do not require reprinted I-20s or DS-2019s.

If I remain outside the US for more than 5 months, will I need to pay the SEVIS fee again, request a new I-20, or apply for a new visa?

It depends.

  • Students who maintain their legal status do not need to pay the SEVIS fee, obtain a new visa document (I-20 or DS-2019), or apply for a new visa if their current visa is still valid. Please check that the travel signature (pg 2 of I-20 or pg 1 of DS-2019) is less than one year old at the time of re-entry to the U.S. and review required travel documentation.
  • Students who do not maintain their legal status will need to pay the SEVIS fee and request a new I-20. If the visa stamp in your passport is expired, you will need to renew your visa before returning to the U.S. If the visa stamp in your passport has not expired by the date you intend to return to the U.S., you may be able to use it to re-enter the U.S. Guidance from some government offices indicates that students with terminated legal status who are outside the U.S. for five months or more must renew their visa. However, immigration officers at the port of entry into the U.S. typically allow students to use an unexpired visa to re-enter the U.S., regardless of the amount of time spent outside the U.S. with terminated legal status. The mismatch between the SEVIS numbers on your new visa document and your old visa can sometimes cause the officer at the port of entry to ask questions.

I am not maintaining my legal status. How can I request my new I-20 from ISSS?

In October, ISSS will email all students who were terminated and provide information on how to return to in person study at Miami and obtain a new visa document (I-20 or DS-2019).

My visa has expired and I’m still in the U.S. What do I do?

You only need to renew an expired visa if you have plans to travel outside the U.S. It is okay for your visa to expire while you are in the U.S. provided that your I-20 or DS-2019 is still valid and you have not completed your program of study.

It is not possible to renew your U.S. visa from inside of the U.S.

Will ISSS continue to issue electronic I-20s?

ISSS will continue to issue I-20s electronically as long as the Student and Exchange Visitor Program permits. Please remember that upon receipt, you must review your I-20, print it and sign it. Students are not allowed to sign I-20s digitally.


How can I work on campus this fall?

Our current understanding is that students who choose Miami Attendance Option 1 (living in Oxford) are allowed to work on-campus. We are gathering information regarding whether students who live/study remotely will be eligible.

If I enroll part-time or take a leave of absence and am outside the U.S, does this impact my practical training benefits?

Yes. If you are returning to the U.S. with a new I-20 and SEVIS record, you will not be eligible for CPT or OPT until you have been registered in coursework and maintained status for one full academic year (summer sessions excluded). Time spent in the U.S. prior to your leave of absence does not count.

Can I participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Academic Training from outside the US?

Maybe. If you are maintaining your legal status you may explore eligibility for CPT or Academic Training while outside the U.S. Generally work authorization is needed if the employer is based in the U.S. though the work will be completed outside the U.S. If the employer is also based outside the U.S. you may not require work authorization. In general please consult with ISSS before starting work.

Can I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) from outside the US?

Please be aware that, according to the I-765 application form, you cannot apply for OPT from outside of the U.S. so doing so would be a risk. We recommend returning to the U.S. to submit your application.

In addition, please note that if you are outside the U.S., your application window is limited to the 90 days before your program completion. Students who have departed the U.S. may not file during their grace period.

Please review eligibility and application requirements for OPT.


Can I complete my last semester via online courses and graduate remotely?

It may be possible for students to complete degree requirements remotely in the final semester. We recommend that you speak with your academic advisor to discuss course requirements and any other details you may need to be aware of for graduation. This may have work authorization implications. Please see the frequently asked questions concerning employment.

If I take courses at a university in my home country, can I transfer the credits back to Miami?

Review the One Stop information about transferring credit before deciding to take courses from another university and transfer them to Miami. There are several guidelines for transfer credits, and courses taken in China will require additional documentation. It is best to consult with your academic advisor about whether your plan to transfer credits to Miami will work.

What should I do if the course I need is not offered online?

It will be important to work with your academic advisor to consider alternative courses that may meet your needs. Course offerings will vary by department. An advisor can help you evaluate the possibilities for your situation.

If I take online courses from outside the U.S., how do I navigate the time difference and/or issues with internet accessibility?

It will be important for you to reach out to the professors of your online courses early if you believe time differences or internet accessibility will be an issue. Your professors will need to know your concerns in order to consider how best to support you. It is up to each professor to decide how to support students facing these challenges.

What is the difference between online and hybrid courses?

Online courses are conducted completely remotely and do not have in-person meetings. Hybrid courses involve a blend of both online instruction and in-person meetings. Students enrolled in hybrid courses should check the details in the Course List or seek guidance from their instructor on attendance requirements to see if there is flexibility to complete the course remotely if that is desired. For definitions regarding on-campus (in-person), online, and hybrid coursework review Miami’s Healthy Together Frequently Asked Questions (Courses and the Academic Calendar).

What courses count as in person?

Courses coded as in person or hybrid may meet the in person requirement depending on their primary mode of instruction. ISSS defines coursework as meeting the in person requirement of regulations when the course meets partially (at least 50% of the time) or fully (100%) in person. Courses that meet primarily through distance education (60% or higher) do not meet the in person requirement.

Does grade mode matter for full-time enrollment?

No. We have always considered any course that is standard letter or credit no credit to count towards maintenance of status. That will not change.

Insurance & Billing

Will I be charged for Health Insurance if I’m studying remotely?

Students who indicate via the InterLink e-form that they are studying outside the U.S. for Fall 2020 or not enrolling/deferring their admission will be automatically waived from the Aetna health insurance. If your account has already been charged for fall semester health insurance, the fees will be refunded. ISSS anticipates refunds will be completed in September.

Students who return in January will be automatically re-enrolled in the Aetna insurance plan for January through July 2021 at the prorated fee of $950.

What will happen to my scholarship if I take online courses outside the US or take a “gap” semester?

Please contact the One Stop office which handles all billing and financial aid concerns by emailing onestop@miamioh.edu or calling 513-529-0001 to learn more.


I am an undergraduate student who will live on campus. Miami announced its phased start but I already made travel plans before my new move-in time/date. What do I do?

Students who have already made travel arrangements may request pre-semester housing from Campus Services.

I will be outside the U.S. for fall semester. How do I cancel my on campus housing?

Students who will not be on campus and who need to cancel housing or meal plan contracts, should review the Healthy Together FAQs before making decisions. After review, follow its instructions to submit required forms to Campus Services.

I am a continuing student. If I enroll in a fully online schedule in the U.S., do I have to live on campus or in Oxford?

No, but you must always keep your current physical and mailing addresses updated in BannerWeb. Make sure you select the Miami attendance option 2, Remote Fall Option.

Travel & Quarantine

Will I be expected to quarantine upon arrival?

Miami University is following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students arriving directly from countries considered Level 3 will be expected to quarantine upon arrival. Those who live on campus will be placed in quarantine housing on campus for 14 days and will be expected to remain isolated at that location for the duration of the quarantine. Instructions will be provided about how to have meals delivered to your room. Students who live off-campus will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days at their off-campus apartment.

What are the current travel restrictions? Can I enter the U.S.?

Review ISSS's list of current travel warnings and updates.

ISSS Support

ISSS advisors will continue to support international students and scholars remotely in fall semester.

  • Appointments: Individuals may schedule meetings online by following these instructions. Appointments are available via Google Meet and phone. Students unable to meet by phone or Google Meet should reach out to an advisor for individual assistance
  • E-forms: Students and scholars may submit any request electronically through e-forms available in InterLink.
  • Email: Students and scholars may email international@MiamiOH.edu with general questions or concerns.