Guide for Final Semester

Reduced Course Load

Did you know you can take less than 12 credits (or 9 credits for grads) in your final semester. Download the form for Reduced Course Load at and submit by the 11th day of class.

Grace Period

At graduation we will shorten the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 to show that you have graduated. From your program end date F-1 students have a 60 day grace period. J-1 students have a 30 day grace period. We advise J-1 students to ask for early checkout to receive your diploma before you leave the US!

During your grace period you may:

  • Travel throughout the United States
  • Begin OPT
  • Receive admission and updated immigration documents for an advanced degree
  • Depart the United States

Apply for OPT

After graduation, you can apply for one year of work authorization in the US to build your resume and get practical experience your field. The application process is 90 days, so apply early!

Apply for Graduation

Finishing all your course-work does not automatically qualify you for graduation. Apply online at and be mindful of deadlines.

Invite Your Family to Graduation

Do your closest relatives have visitor visas to the United States? Help them apply by submitting an invitation letter request at Then visit see a full checklist and schedule their visa interview.

Join the Alumni Association

Proud to be a Trojan? Addicted to your email address? Join the alumni association! Membership information is available at