Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! You have achieved many goals, both academic and personal, and we hope that your EMU experience has been rewarding and fruitful. It is important to be familiar with the following graduation procedures and information, along with immigration requirements and Alumni matters, BEFORE your last term begins.
Undergraduate As an undergraduate, when you have completed 95 credit hours you should request a graduation audit. Upon filling out the request form, the Office of Records and Registration will inform you of which classes still need to be taken in your degree program in order to graduate. This provides valuable information prior to registering for your last semester and helps ensure you have taken the required classes. The required form can be found at http://www.emich.edu/registrar/formslibrary/forms/ugaudit.pdf.
Graduate Graduate students should track their program completion using their program of study. Students should consult their faculty advisor to ensure they are completing their expected degree requirements on time.
Applying for Graduation Candidates for a degree must submit a Degree Application form along with a graduation fee during the first two weeks of the final semester in which they are enrolled. Failure to apply for graduation will result in a delay in receipt of your degree. A full explanation of applying for graduation can be found at http://www.emich.edu/registrar/graduation/. For additional information on graduation for graduate graduation requirements, please see http://www.emich.edu/registrar/graduation/graduate.php.
Participation in Commencement Ceremonies
Commencement ceremonies follow each Fall (December) and Winter (April) terms. For more information on the ceremony, please see http://www.emich.edu/commencement/.
For students finishing their degree requirements in June or August, you may participate in the commencement ceremony in April if you meet credit hour and GPA requirements. Official awarding of the degree does not occur until the completion of all coursework is met. Additional information about early participation in commencement ceremonies can be found at: http://www.emich.edu/registrar/graduation/
Inviting Guests to the Commencement Ceremonies
For more information about inviting your friends and family to the U.S, please see Inviting Visitors.
Diplomas (with a complimentary transcript) are mailed approximately six to eight weeks after the close of the semester in which the degree is conferred when proper application for graduation is made. Students can request additional copies of diplomas. For further information on how to request an additional copy of your diploma go to: http://www.emich.edu/registrar/formslibrary/forms/requestforreplacementdiploma.pdf
Transcript requests can be made on-line, by mail or in-person. Transcript requests will not be honored for anyone with past due financial obligations to the University. For further information view: http://www.emich.edu/registrar/transcripts/
You are able to log into your my.emich account up to 6 months following graduation. Student authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT; see below for more information) can log into their my.emich account up to 33 months following graduation.
Before your login access expires, you should setup your account to have your emich mail automatically forwarded to a personal account. To do so, log into your emich email account and go to "Preferences" on the tabs list. Then click on mail on the left column under your name. Under "Receiving Messages" enter your personal address under "Forward a copy to:" Click save before exiting.
I-20/DS-2019 End Date
The end date of your I-20 or DS-2019 must accurately reflect your study progress. The end date should be when you have completed your program of study and do not have any additional credits to enroll in. Finishing incompletes from previous classes does not count toward being a full-time student and cannot not prolong your program end date.
If you have more classes in which to enroll in beyond the current I-20/DS-2019 end date, you need to extend the end date on your I-20 or DS-2019. You MUST meet with an OIS advisor at least 2 months before your current I-20/DS-2019 expires. Please bring the OIS an Extension of Stay form found on the forms page, that has been signed by your academic advisor.
If you will complete your program of study earlier than the date listed on your I-20/DS-2019, please complete the Shorten Program Request form on the forms page.
Next Steps Following Program of Study Completion
Once you complete your program of study, you have various options:
1. Leaving the U.S.: Students planning to leave the United States after graduation have a limited time period to do so. Students with J visas have 30 days and F-1 visa holders have 60 days following their DS-2019 or I-20 end date to depart the United States. Once you leave the United States you will not be able to re-enter on your F-1 or J visa.
2. Optional Practical Training (OPT): You can apply to the U.S. government for work authorization for up to 12 months. This work authorization is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you are interested in applying for OPT, please come to an OPT seminar to learn more about the process and regulations. Attending a seminar is mandatory for those who apply for OPT. Please start this process early in your last semester at EMU as the OPT work authorization may take up to 3 months and you cannot begin working until you have authorization. For more information about seminars and OPT, please see http://www.emich.edu/ois/f1offcampus.html
3. Start a new degree program at EMU: If you are interested in beginning another degree at EMU, you should first apply through the Office of Admissions (http://www.emich.edu/admissions/) for your new program. Once admitted, please inform the OIS so that we can issue you a new I-20 indicating your change of level and degree program. Please note that you must be admitted to your new degree and be issued a new I-20 from the OIS within 60 days following your previous EMU's degree completion. You must start your new degree at EMU in the next available term.
4. Transfer to another U.S. school to begin a new degree: Please complete the Transfer Out Form if you have been admitted to another U.S. school and would like to transfer to begin another degree program. Please see forms, under "General", for the Transfer Out Form and instructions.
5. Change your visa status
Please let the OIS know your future plans by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line "What's Next") a few months before you plan to graduate. The OIS can then better guide you on how to proceed to ensure that you are fulfilling your immigration requirements.
Being an Alum at EMU
Upon graduating from Eastern Michigan University you are a member of the EMU Alumni Association. By filling out the membership form you can keep informed of EMU happenings through the alumni magazine, E-Edge. Members enjoy other benefits such as hotel discounts and car rentals. International student alumni can give back to EMU by starting an alumni chapter abroad or sharing their knowledge of EMU as part of the Alumni Admissions Recruitment Team. This team helps inform prospective international students about Eastern Michigan University. More about EMU's Alumni Association and all it has to offer can be found at: http://www.emich.edu/alumni/.
You can also sign up to be a EMU Global Ambassador through the OIS and communicate with newly admitted EMU international students to help them prepare for their upcoming studies. For more information on the Global Ambassador Program, please see http://www.emich.edu/ois/globalambassador.html.
Keep in Touch with the OIS
The OIS would enjoy learning more about what you are doing after your graduation! Become our facebook friend at "OIS EMU" so that we can keep in touch with your current happenings and you can learn about all the new things going on at EMU and the OIS.
If you would like to be featured on our Alumni of the Month page, please send us a picture with the following information:
Semester and Year of Graduation
1) Tell us about yourself and your career. What is your greatest achievement so far?
2) Share three career-related lessons you have learned after graduation from EMU.
3) What challenges are you facing professionally? What support would be helpful?
4) How has your EMU degree influenced your career decisions?
We wish you the very best in all your future endeavors!