Graduating Student Information

SPRING 2024 Graduating Student Information Sessions will be held in-person and requires prior registration.


Congratulations on graduating from Marshall!

This page will provide you with important information following successful completion of your degree program.  The Office of International Student Services offers Graduating Student Information Sessions at the beginning of each semester to discuss a number of important topics and offer an opportunity to ask questions.  If you are unable to attend a virtual information session, take a few moments to view the Graduating Student Information Prezi.


In the presentation, you will find information on the following topics:

F-1 and J-1 international students are required to maintain a full course of study at all times. The following exception applies for graduating students at the undergraduate and graduate level:

  • Students in their final term are permitted to take only the courses needed to graduate. However, at least 1 course must be in-person, classroom-based.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are graduating and in your final term, the Office of International Student Services may request additional verification confirming you are in your final term. Failure to provide verification by the stated deadline may result in termination of the SEVIS record.

If you are unsure whether your current enrollment meets the full course of study requirements, please click below to request an appointment with ISS:

Request an Appointment with ISS
Once you successfully complete your program, you will enter a 60-day grace period. During this time, you may do the following:

  1. Apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for Standard Post-Completion OPT
  2. Apply and be accepted to a new academic program at Marshall to start within 5 months
  3. Apply and be accepted to a new academic program at another US school to start within 5 months and apply for a transfer of your SEVIS record
  4. Apply to USICS for a change of status
  5. Prepare to depart the United States

It is important that you do not overstay your 60-day grace period without taking one of the above actions.

You are permitted to remain in the United States while you have a pending application with USCIS.

Travel During the 60-Day Grace Period

Please see the information below for various travel considerations during the 60-day grace period:

If you are departing the US after successful completion of your program: Re-entry to the US is not permitted during the 60-day grace period.
If you have an application pending with USCIS: See the Office of International Student Services prior to travel outside of the US.
If you are going to begin a new program at Marshall or at a new school: Make sure you have your new I-20 with a travel signature before re-entering the US.

What is OPT?

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 international students to gain work experience related to their academic program.
  • Students in F-1 status may receive up to one year (12 months) of OPT per degree level, with an extension of up to 24 months available for students with qualifying STEM majors. OPT requires authorization by USCIS.
  • To qualify for initial 12-month Post-Completion OPT, you must meet the following requirements:
    1. Currently be in lawful F-1 status
    2. Have completed at least one full academic year of full-time study in a lawful status
    3. Have graduated as a degree-seeking student at the Bachelor, Master or Doctorate level

We encourage all students who are thinking about applying for OPT to review our OPT online training module prior to applying.

View OPT online training module

If you are interested in starting a new program at Marshall following your graduation:

  1. Submit an International Graduate Application online to begin the application process.
  2. Once you are admitted and have provided all necessary documentation, ISS will update your I-20 to reflect your new program of study.

This process must be completed within 60 days of your program completion.
All questions regarding admission to subsequent MU programs at a new education level or for the same education level can be addressed to International Admissions at

Review the international admissions requirements

If you have been maintaining your F-1 status and wish to continue your studies at a different school, you must request to have your SEVIS record transferred to your new school. Your new program must begin within 5 months from the Transfer Out Date or within 5 months of your Program End Date, whichever is earlier.

  1. To begin, you must first apply and be admitted to your new school.
  2. Next, go online to complete the Request to Transfer SEVIS Record (Transfer Out) to notify ISS of your plans and to select your transfer release date.


  • If your new school provides a Transfer Clearance form, we will complete our part and return it to the new school.
  • ISS will set your SEVIS release date according to your request.
  • ISS will not have access to your SEVIS record once the transfer release date arrives. If you need to cancel your transfer request, please be sure to contact our office before the transfer release date.
  • Once your SEVIS record is successfully transferred, your new school will issue your new I-20.

Please be advised that we will not be able to transfer your SEVIS record after the 60-day grace period has passed.

View Transfer Out form
  • If you will not complete your program by the end date on your I-20, you will need to extend your I-20 to reflect the additional time needed in your program.
  • We cannot extend your program once your I-20 end date passes, so it is very important to plan ahead and timely request an extension.
  • If you do not request an extension on time, you may have to take measures to regain your F-1 status which could impact your eligibility for OPT in the future.

Required Information

  • To request a program extension, you may submit a Program Extension Request form online.
  • Once you submit your form, your academic advisor will be prompted to complete a form certifying your request. We will not be able to process your extension without advisor certification.
  • You will also need to submit updated financial documentation no older than 6 months to support the additional time needed in your program. We will not be able to process your extension without updated financial support.
Submit a Program Extension Form (if applicable)

If you have purchased international student health insurance for next semester and you intend to graduate at the end of the current semester, you may request an insurance refund.

Please keep in mind the following considerations:

  • If you are staying in the US during the 60-day grace period and if you plan to be on OPT, you can keep your current coverage to cover you while in the US. If your current insurance is refunded and you choose to purchase an insurance plan for OPT at a later date, the plan will be more expensive.
  • If you stay in the US without health insurance coverage, you are also subject to paying high medical fees out of pocket in the event that you become sick or injured.
Submit an Insurance Refund Request form (if applicable)

Health Insurance Refund Process

  1. Submit your refund request form online
  2. Once your degree posts in your student record, ISS will forward your request to Insurance for Students.
  3. Insurance for Students will contact the healthcare company to initiate the refund process.
  4. The healthcare company will determine refund eligibility.
  5. Insurance for Students will contact you regarding approval or denial of your refund.

Please note that while ISS will help you begin the process, refunds are determined and processed solely thought Insurance and Students and UnitedHealthcare.

Make sure you have applied for graduation!

  • Undergraduates and graduates may apply for graduation online through myMU.
  • If you have any questions regarding applying for graduation, work with your academic advisor.

Graduate students may find the additional resources from the Graduate College helpful:

Inviting Friends and Family to Graduation

If you would like to invite your friends or family to visit the US for your graduation, you may submit a Request for Invitation Letter online.

The Office of the Registrar will mail your diploma 4-8 weeks after the commencement date to the address the University has on file for you.

The Office of the Registrar does not send diplomas to addresses outside of the US!

Check the address that the University has on file. You can do this either in person at the Registrar’s Office or online via your myMU account. If the address on file is a local address or an address within the United States, make sure that you or a trusted friend will be at the address to receive your diploma.

If you will be leaving the US, you may have your diploma sent to the Office of International Student Services and have a friend pick it up for you. In order to do this, you will need to stop by the Office of International Student Services to complete a release form, then change your address at the Registrar’s Office to the address listed below:

Office of International Student Services
Marshall University, Old Main 321
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Once your diploma is ready, you will be notified by e-mail. You will then need to respond to the e-mail with your name, your 901 number, and the name of the person picking up your diploma.

If you will be leaving the US and would like to send your diploma to your home country, you will need to take the following steps:
Go online to: to create an account, verify your account, and choose Marshall University as a school.

Then, you can see your account options to create a shipment, choose the document to have sent, and make your payment online.

After you make your payment, we will receive a confirmation e-mail with the label to send your diploma to you. For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar at

Student ID Card Access

  • You may lose ID card swipe access privileges once you graduate, as card activation is determined by class registration.
  • Places that require card swipe access will be unavailable upon graduation (i.e., Drinko Library after regular business hours).

Access to MU Email

  • Once you graduate, you will still have access to your MU email account.
  • If you are applying for OPT, starting a new program at Marshall, or thinking about transferring your SEVIS record to a new school, please continue to check your MU email regularly. We will continue to communicate with your primarily through your MU email.


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If you receive a suspicious email or phone call, please contact our office immediately before taking further action. To learn more about how to protect yourself from common scams, click on the bolded text for information from Study in the States and USCIS.


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