Program Extension Information for Faculty and Staff

International students who are in the United States for the primary purpose of studying are expected to complete their degree within the average length of time for their particular program. ISSS does not set the average length of time; this is set by the programs themselves and communicated to the admissions office for that program. The student is issued a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), or I-20/DS-2019 to support their visa, and the COE contains the expected start and end date for that student's program. If a student needs more time to complete their degree, they will need to apply for a program extension before the end date of their COE.

In order to apply for a program extension, the student needs the signature and support of their academic department. The academic department should complete the ISSS Program Extension form. The department faculty or staff completing the form should be specific about the reason for extension. If the extension reason is not one of the listed reasons on the form, and “other” is checked, an additional letter of explanation may be required.

ISSS treats all program extensions on a case-by-case basis. Since the university sets the length of time for the student's program of study, there should be very few students who need program extensions. Under reasonable circumstances, and even with minor set-backs, students should be able to complete their program in the time provided.