Program Changes - Extensions and Changes of Major or Degree Level

When an F-1 or J-1 international student is admitted to the University of Iowa, he or she is issued a form identifying their program of study, including information regarding major, degree level, and average length of time it takes to complete that degree program with a defined start and end date.

If a student makes a change to his/her program, a new I-20 or DS-2019 must be created by ISSS.  Common changes include:

  • Program Extension:  The student cannot complete his/her program by the end date on their document.
  • Completion of Program:  An F-1 or J-1 student may not delay his/her graduation.  If they are eligible to receive their diploma, they must graduate.
  • Change of Degree Level:  The student has changed his/her degree plans mid-program and is now pursuing a different degree; alternatively he/she may be pursuing a second degree after completion of the first

To complete these student requests, ISSS does generally request information from academic advisors regarding these student’s new academic plans. 

Another reason ISSS may request information regarding a student’s academic plans is because he or she is making a change to their status, requiring the issue of a new I-20 or DS-2019.  Common requests include:

  • Change of Status:  The student is currently in a different nonimmigrant status but desires to change to F-1 or J-1 status.
  • Reinstatement:  The student lost his/her F-1 or J-1 status and is applying to USCIS to regain it.