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Maintaining F-1 Status

The primary purpose of being under an F-1 student visa immigration status is to study. To maintain status, an F-1 student is required to "make normal progress" toward completing a course of studies (Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degrees).

International students must complete their program (graduate) by the program end date on their I-20 and in accordance with program requirements. Once an international student qualifies for graduation, they must petition to graduate and graduate in the earliest term possible.

Program Extensions can only be approved prior to a student’s program end date. Program Extensions are rare. The following scenarios may qualify a student for a Program Extension:

  • Current or previous academic or medical reduced course load
  • Delay caused by lost credits upon transfer to SCU
  • Delay caused by change in major field of study
  • Unforeseen research delay (doctoral students) 

To Request a Program Extension students must submit a I-20 Extension Request Form at least 30 days prior to the end of their program. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.