F1: Change of Academic Level


General Information

An F-1 student who continues from one educational level to another (e.g., Bachelor's degree to Master's degree) is considered to be maintaining status, provided that the transition to the new educational program is accomplished according to change of academic level procedures as outlined below.

Failure to follow procedures as outlined below renders the student out of status for immigration purposes.

In order to maintain lawful nonimmigrant status when moving from one academic level to another, the student must:

  1. Obtain Form I-20 for the new educational program
    • students moving from non-degree or ELI to a degree program, or Bachelor's to Master's or any other similar level change, must obtain Form I-20 from OISS.
    • students moving from the Master's to Doctoral level must first obtain a "Graduate Record/Status Change" form or admission letter from the academic department; after meeting financial requirements, OISS will issue Form I-20 for the new program.
  2. Enroll in the new program in the first term immediately following completion of the previous program or annual vacation; and sign Form I-20 and bring it to OISS no later than 15 days after beginning the new program.

What do I need to do?

Schedule a meeting with an advisor (click here) or come by during walk-in advising to complete your change of academic level. There are three (3) documents a student must bring when meeting with an OISS advisor to approve the change of academic level:

  1. A completed Application for I-20 (click here for form)
  2. A completed, new Bank Statement (click here for form)
  3. A letter of admissions from Wayne State University from the program you have been accepted into

After an adviser in OISS authorizes the change in academic level on item #3.e. of the I-20 and signs the back of Form I-20. This completes the change of academic level process.