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Final Quarter & Graduation Planning

Congratulations on completing your program at the UW! We know there’s a lot to do, but it is important you understand how graduation affects your immigration status and what your next steps will be.

Final Quarter Planning

Review the below topics to prepare for your final quarter and next steps.

Final Quarter Checklist

Specific steps must be taken to apply for graduation, participate in the Commencement Ceremony, and ensure that your diploma will be mailed to the correct address. Visit the Office of the University Registrar’s Graduation webpage for more details.

If you are graduating, you can request authorization to enroll in only your remaining credits. You must request this authorization from ISS. You can submit the RCL-Final Quarter request in MyISSS. Note: during your final quarter, your coursework cannot be only CPT coursework or online coursework.

Your on-campus work permission ends the last day of your final quarter. Your last day of work must be no later than the final day of the quarter (per the UW academic calendar). You can still receive your paycheck later. But the work itself must end on your final day of the quarter.

Notify your campus job supervisor of your expiring work authorization.

As graduation approaches, you may want to invite your parents or other family members to celebrate commencement with you. Review our suggestions to help them apply for a visitor’s visa (B-2) at a US consulate or embassy in their home country.
Learn more

Post-graduation Planning – What Next?

60-day Grace Period

At the completion of your program, you are granted a 60-day grace period during which you may take several actions. See below for your options to help you plan your post-graduation steps.

Work in the U.S. (OPT)

You may be eligible for OPT work authorization which allows you to work in your field of study after graduation.

Read more

Change of Degree Level

If you are moving to a higher degree level at the UW, you will need to request an updated I-20.

Read more

Transferring Schools

Students who transfer to another school may request that ISS transfers their immigration record.

Read more

Depart the U.S.

If you do not intend to remain on the F-1 status, you can depart the U.S. and close your immigration record. Once you depart, you will not be allowed to re-enter under the F-1 status or apply for OPT.

Change Status

Some students transition from the F-1 status to another immigration status. However, you must update ISS.

Read more


It is important that you maintain medical insurance coverage after you graduate, as medical expenses in the U.S. can be very costly. Depending on whether you have purchased the annual or quarterly coverage through the UW’s student plan you may be covered for a limited period beyond your final quarter. For more information click here: UW International Student Health Insurance Plan.

You should research individual plans through companies that insure international students in the U.S.
While working under OPT, you may receive insurance through your employer; however, it is very common to have a gap in insurance coverage between the student plan’s end date and potential coverage through an employer.