SEVIS Help Hub illustration

SEVIS Help Hub

Shorten Program

Shorten Program

Last updated: May 31, 2020

Quick Links:


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.

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.
Icon - Specific text within a document applies only to M-1 vocational/technical schools or students

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.

1. Go to the Student Information page. 

Shorten Program Step One.png

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.

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

1. Go to the Student Information page. 

Shorten Program History 1.png

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.

What's New


Try the Facebook Chatbot

Visit the tool on the Study in the States Facebook page to learn how to become an F or M international student in the United States.

Summer Employment

Learn About Summer Employment

While employed this summer, make sure you have all the relevant information on maintaining your student status, and the steps you must take before returning to school. 

Icon Guide

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

I'm Looking For

Contact Us


SEVP Response Center



Monday - Friday 
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET,
except holidays

Was This Helpful?
Please provide feedback on this page.