Final Semester of Study

Students who are in their final semester of study have a number of tasks to complete and options to consider for their future plans.

Final Semester Enrollment Requirements

In your final semester, you are permitted to register for only the number of credits needed to complete your degree requirements. Please carefully review the Reduced Course Load webpage for eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply. If you are considering a reduced course load, please take action early: discuss your degree progress with your academic advisor and apply for a reduced course load via InterLink.

Grace Period and Possible Actions

If you successfully complete all degree requirements by the expiration date of your I-20 or DS-2019 and have maintained legal status, you will have a grace period during which you may remain legally in the U.S. Students are allowed to travel within the U.S. during their grace period. However, if you leave the U.S. during the grace period, you may not re-enter using your current I-20 or DS-2019. Note that on-campus employment is not permitted during your grace period.

Please note that your Program End Date is your last day of classes (for undergraduate students) or the date that you complete all of your degree requirements, including thesis/dissertation (for graduate students). If your I-20 or DS-2019 does not currently reflect your correct Program End Date, it will be updated by ISSS after you complete degree requirements.

If you will not complete your degree requirements by the expiration date of your I-20 or DS-2019, you must request an extension prior to the expiration date. If your document expires before you complete your degree requirements, you will lose your legal status and will not have a grace period to remain in the U.S. You will also lose your ability to apply for work authorization.

For F-1 students, a grace period is 60 days following the end of their program (see note above regarding Program End Date.) By the end of the 60 day grace period, an F-1 student must have taken action with his/her status or departed the U.S. The following actions are available for legal status:

An F-1 student cannot do the following during their grace period:

  • Work on- or off-campus without authorization
  • Apply for a program extension
  • Travel outside of the U.S. and re-enter on their completed program’s I-20 without having applied for OPT

J-1 students have a 30 day grace period following the end of their program (see note above regarding Program End Date.) J-1 students have unique guidelines regarding the types of activity permitted during their grace period and J-1 student records are deactivated in the government system on the day immediately after the program end date. As a result, you must take the following actions before your program ends:

F-1 Student

For F-1 students, a grace period is 60 days following the end of their program (see note above regarding Program End Date.) By the end of the 60 day grace period, an F-1 student must have taken action with his/her status or departed the U.S. The following actions are available for legal status:

An F-1 student cannot do the following during their grace period:

  • Work on- or off-campus without authorization
  • Apply for a program extension
  • Travel outside of the U.S. and re-enter on their completed program’s I-20 without having applied for OPT

J-1 Student

J-1 students have a 30 day grace period following the end of their program (see note above regarding Program End Date.) J-1 students have unique guidelines regarding the types of activity permitted during their grace period and J-1 student records are deactivated in the government system on the day immediately after the program end date. As a result, you must take the following actions before your program ends:

Health Insurance Coverage

Students who graduate in December will be eligible to request a prorated refund of their Miami University health insurance if they will be departing the United States after graduating. This request can be made via InterLink approximately one month prior to December graduation. Students who will remain in the U.S. to pursue OPT or begin a new degree program are not eligible for a refund. The Miami University student health insurance plan can be used anywhere in the United States.

Students who graduate in May or August will remain on the Miami University student health insurance plan through July 31.

Keep in mind that medical care in the United States can be expensive. Some medical procedures may cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars without health insurance. We highly suggest you maintain your insurance coverage while you are in the United States. Students who work in the U.S. after graduation may be eligible for health insurance through their employer. Otherwise, we recommend that you purchase insurance on your own.

Graduation Ceremony and Diplomas

There are several steps you should take to ensure that you graduate successfully and receive your diploma:

International students who wish to invite friends or family to visit them in the U.S. and celebrate graduation may request a letter of invitation on their behalf from International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).

Stay Connected Beyond Graduation

Once you graduate, you will become Miami University Alumni. You are encouraged to join more than 4500 Miamians who are part of Miami Alumni Connect, helping each other succeed during and after college.

In addition, ISSS welcomes you to check out our International Alumni resources and to stay in touch after graduation by completing this form.. We are always interested to hear what is happening with international Miami alumni and we hope to stay connected. You may even have the opportunity to participate in upcoming programs such as virtual alumni career panels for current international students or recruitment events for the admissions office.

Note that Miami offers Lifetime email access so your account will remain active after graduation. However, access to other Miami University services and sites should automatically expire 45 days after graduation, including Miami VPN, BannerWeb, and myMiami. Please bookmark and log in directly to your email through mail.MiamiOH.edu.

Finally, please take a few moments to complete a brief ISSS exit survey about your experience at Miami University.