Changing Your Major or Level of Study

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When your undergraduate major or graduate program changes, an updated I-20 must be requested from the International Students and Scholars Center (ISSC).

There are several types of major and program changes:

number1I am an undergraduate student changing my major

Number 2 graphic I am currently or will begin my graduate studies

Number 3 graphic I have two majors or programs


Change of Major

An updated I-20 is required when you change your major. To request an updated I-20 please send an email within 10 days of the change to with the subject line: Change of Program. You will receive an email notification to pick up your I-20 from the ISSC within 10 business days after we receive your email.

Sponsored Students: You must be enrolled in the major your sponsor approved. If you are planning to change your major or degree program, you must consult with your sponsor and receive your sponsor’s approval prior to making any changes. Changing your major or degree program without the approval of your sponsor can be considered a serious violation of your scholarship policies.


Change of Program or Concentration

When you change your program or concentration, a hold is placed on your account to prompt a review of the change as you may be required to receive an updated I-20.

Please send an email within 10 days of the change to with the subject line: Change of Program.

You will receive an email notification from the ISSC within 10 business days with the result of our review and instructions to pick up your new I-20 if required. Your hold will be removed at this time.

Change of Education Level (CEL) with Degree Completion (including 4+1)

An I-20 is required when you have completed one degree program and will begin another degree program.

Request your Change of Education Level (CEL) I-20 by submitting the Change of Educational Level eForm via the ISSC eForm Portal.  

The Change of Education Level I-20 Request must be submitted to the ISSC before your 60 day grace period ends and before the start date of the new semester. If you have not requested and received your change of education level I-20 request by the end of your 60 day grace period, please contact the ISSC for immigration advice.


OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING: If you are active on Optional Practical Training (OPT) your work authorization will end on the day your Change of Education Level I-20 is issued. You may choose any date up to one week prior to the start of your new degree.

The Change of Education Level I-20 eForm must be submitted to the ISSC before the 60 day grace period following your OPT ends.

TRAVEL: Your Change of Education Level I-20 cannot be produced prior to the completion of your current degree.  Returning to the USA will require that you have your Change of Education Level I-20. If you will be traveling, please purchase a shipping label through eShipGlobal so that you may receive your new I-20 outside the US.

ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT BETWEEN ACADEMIC LEVELS: To continue on-campus employment at ASU during breaks following the completion of a degree and beginning another degree, you must have the intention to enroll for the next regular semester, and the ISSC must issue a Change of Education Level I-20 first. We recommend that you submit your Change of Education Level I-20 eForm before graduation so that we can issue your change of education level I-20 as soon as your degree completion is posted to your ASU academic record.

Change of Education Level without Degree Completion

If you change from a Doctoral degree to a Master’s degree or from a Master’s degree to a Doctoral degree without completing the previous degree you will need an updated I-20.

  • To receive your updated I-20 you or your advisor must submit an Academic Advisor Letter to that includes your new anticipated completion date (MM/DD/YYYY).  The completion date used for graduate students in the defense date or date of dissertation approval after the defense, comprehensive exam date or result date, project defense, or whichever option the student has for the degree program to be completed.

  • Once you have submitted all requested materials, you can expect to receive your updated I-20 within 10 business days.


Concurrent Major or Program

Change of Program or Concentration

You may enroll in a concurrent major or concurrent program. We recommend that you complete both programs in the same amount of time. If you cannot complete both programs in the same amount of time, please consult with an ISSC International Student Advisor for further information on the immigration implications.

Your primary major or program is stated on your I-20. This major is important, as it will affect your future benefits such as Optional Practical Training (OPT).