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Learn how to maintain status while changing majors

Changing Majors

October 15, 2014

When studying in the United States, you choose what school you want to attend, the type of degree you want to receive and the program that you want to study. Some students arrive at school knowing what classes they want to take; however, other students may decide to change their major after arriving on campus.

A recent USA Today article highlights students changing their major at the University of Florida, an SEVP-certified school.  More than 60 percent of students change their majors or program of study before the end of their second school year. Wanting to change your course of study is understandable, but in order to do so you must make sure that you maintain your status throughout the process.

If you are thinking about changing your major, talk to your designated school official (DSO) immediately. Your DSO will make sure that your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System record is up to date. Changing your major may require you to extend your stay in the United States in order to complete your new program of study. In this case, you will need to discuss these changes with your DSO and request an extension before the end of your program completion date listed on your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”

Remember that your DSO is your best resource for any questions about furthering your studies in the United States and maintaining your status.

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