What is a program extension?

International students who need additional time to complete their degree requirements must apply for an extension of their I-20 or DS-2019. In order to maintain their status, they must apply for this extension before their current I-20 or DS-2019 program end date. Students receive an I-20 or DS-2019 based on Northeastern University’s program objectives, which account for any college approved experiential learning that is built into the length of the program of study.

Eligibility requirements

  • Submit the completed program extension request to the Office of Global Services (OGS) at least 30 days prior to the program end date on your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 
  • Continually maintained valid F-1 or J-1 status 
  • The delay in program completion is caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as: 
    • Change of major or research topics
    • Unexpected research problems
    • Thesis/Dissertation continuation 
    • Documented illnesses – A reduced course load or medical leave must have been granted by the University Health & Counseling Services (UHCS) 
    • Other documented academic circumstances*
      • *Program extension requests are subject to review by OGS. Students will be notified of the status of their request after OGS completes review. 
  • Resolve any financial holds on your myNortheastern account before submitting the program extension request to OGS 

The following reasons are not acceptable for a program extension: 

  • Enrolling in additional courses to improve GPA or for personal interest that is not required for program completion; 
  • Engaging in supplemental on or off campus research that is not required for program completion; 
  • Finishing outstanding coursework for an incomplete grade from a previous term; 
  • Retaking a failed class that is not required for program completion; 
  • Engaging in supplemental experiential learning experience/practical training experience that is not necessary or integral for program completion.
  • Completing requirements for a minor
    • According to the Northeastern academic catalog  “Students must fulfill all requirements for the minor and major concurrently and may not extend their program of study to complete a minor.

How to request a program extension

If you are unable to complete your program of study before the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019, you must apply to OGS for a program extension at least 30 days before the program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019. Please complete and submit the Program Extension Request.

Key Resources

Program Extension Request »

This request is for an international student that requires additional time for the completion of his/her program of study.