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Shorten Program

Last updated 29-Apr-2019

General Information

F-1 or M-1 students may need to shorten their programs of study for two primary reasons:

  • Student completed the program of study before the anticipated program end date.
  • Student is in a master’s or doctorate program, has completed all in-class course work, and has requested post-completion optional practical training (OPT) while working on a thesis or dissertation.

Note : If the student is in Active status in SEVIS, designated school officials (DSOs) can shorten the student’s program of study prior to the program end date in SEVIS.

Important Points

It is important to remember:

  • If a student shortens a master’s or doctorate program, in order to use post-completion OPT while working on a thesis or dissertation, the student must know that once the OPT has been approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
    • Program end date cannot be extended to allow more time to complete the thesis or dissertation.
    • Student may not request a period of STEM OPT if not all of the academic program requirements, including the thesis or dissertation, are met.
  • The shorten program function cannot be cancelled. If a DSO enters an incorrect program end date:
    • That occurs after today’s date, the DSO can use the extend program function to correct it.
    • That occurs before today’s date, the DSO will have to submit a Correction Request Change to Program Dates for SEVP adjudication.  
  • If a DSO enters a program end date that is before today’s date, the student’s 60-day grace period for departure will also count down from that new program end date. As a result, the student will have a shorter than 60-day post-completion grace period.
  • The DSO should print a copy of the Form I-20 for the student if a program end date changes. It is important for the student to receive the updated Form I-20. It is the only place a student sees the shortened program dates, which affects their grace period dates.

 If a DSO shortens an M-1 student record by mistake, the DSO must submit a Correction Request Change to Program Dates for SEVP adjudication.

Shorten Program

1. Go to the Student Information page. 

2. Click Shorten Program. The Shorten Program page opens.

The Shorten Program Page

3. Complete the following fields:

  • ​​New Program End Date: This is a required field.
  • Remarks: Explanation of why the student’s program was shortened. 

4. Click one of the following:

  • Shorten Program: Submits the new program end date and any remarks information. The Update Successful page opens. Click one of the following:

Update Successful

  • Return to View Record: Opens the Student Information page.
  • Print I-20: Prints student’s Form I-20.

Icon - Best Practice It is a best practice to print a copy of the Form I-20 for the student, if the program end date changes.

  • Reset Values: Returns all fields to their original values
  • Cancel: Cancels the action and returns the user to the Student Information page.

View Shorten Program History

To view the Shorten Program change in the student’s Event History:

1. Go to the Student Information page. 

2. Click Event History under the View menu. The Event History page opens.

Shorten Program Event History

3. Click the Plus icon on the Program Shortened row to display the event data. When the Program Shortened event is expanded, three sub-columns display:

  • Field Changed: Displays the field that was changed.
  • Old Value: Displays the value before the change.

          Note: Events occurring before the SEVIS Release 6.32 will not have a detailed history.

  • New Value: Displays the value after the change.



Icon Guide

See the SEVIS Help Icons on the SEVIS Help Hub for a quick-reference of the icons used in this user guide.