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Commencement

  • Follow instructions from your school about applying for your Tufts degree through SIS (see for example instructions for Undergraduate Students)
  • Review the Commencement website for information about the all-University and individual school graduation ceremonies
  • Review the information about inviting family and friends to the US for graduation or other life events
  • International undergraduate students - look for an upcoming announcement in March about ordering a commemorative graduation stole from the International Center (see example)

Immigration and Visa Matters

  • If you plan to leave the US after your final semester, you have a "grace period" of sixty days (for F-1 students) or thirty days (for J-1 students). The grace period starts once your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. Once you depart the US, your F-1 / J-1 status would be considered completed.
  • The grace period is only to give you time to¬† prepare for departure. On-campus employment or employment of any kind is not permitted during the grace period.
  • Prior to leaving the US, make sure that you have closed any accounts that you will no longer plan to use, such as cell phones, bank accounts, or other US-based accounts that plan to stop accessing.
  • Keep your I-20(s) / DS-2019 forms in your personal records, as they may be needed in case you return to the US in the future to study or work. The International Center retains student records for only five years past completion and will not be able to provide copies of records after that date.

If you are an F-1 student completing this May, and are planning to start a new program of study (either at Tufts or another US university) in the summer or fall, you will need to initiate either a change of educational level request or F-1 transfer request before the end of your F-1 sixty day grace period. Contact the International Center as soon as you know your plans so that we can provide a more precise timeline.

  • The change of educational level process is for students staying at Tufts continuing on to a new academic program.
  • The F-1 transfer process is for students who plan to start a new program at another US college or university in the next available term.

Once you complete your studies, on-campus employment authorization ends. You are no longer permitted to work in your on-campus job past the final day of your final semester (May 12, 2023 for most programs, but it may vary for other programs). To continue working past your program completion date, you must have authorization under Optional Practical Training (OPT) - see the next section.

Apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training if you plan to stay in the US after completing your program in order to look for work related to your major. The International Center will start processing OPT requests for May graduates in mid-February. Start by attending a virtual OPT workshop and reading our OPT instructions. You may not apply for OPT once more than 60 days past your completion date have passed.

J-1 students should contact the International Center for post-completion Academic Training information.

Practical Matters

  • Arrange to have your Tufts email forwarded to your private email account (Gmail, etc.).
  • Update your contact information in SIS and ensure that your diploma will be mailed to the appropriate address.
  • Update your US mailing address with the US Postal Service, if applicable.
  • Obtain official copies of your transcript or any other university records that you may need to take with you, including records that may need apostille.
  • Review the benefits available to you as a Tufts Alumni.
  • Make sure to return any school records, equipment or supplies to your department and/or your on-campus job, if applicable.
  • Delete or transfer any files from shared drives as appropriate.
  • If you are living in on-campus housing, confirm your move-out date and make plans accordingly. In general, students are ineligible to remain in on-campus housing once they have completed their programs and graduated.
  • If you are living off-campus, review your lease and any restrictions regarding early departures, subleases, or related matters, and discuss these with your landlord.
  • Start sorting through personal items for donation, recycling, resale, or shipping.
  • Start saving for a security deposit if you will need to get an apartment for the summer. Tufts scholarships and financial aid do not cover off-campus housing expenses once you have graduated.
  • Start saving for moving, shipping, and travel expenses if you will be moving to another part of the US. If you have a job offer, talk to your employer about whether they provide moving allowances or support

Confirm the end of your student health insurance plan (whether through Tufts or an outside provider) and make plans to extend or obtain additional coverage once your student plan ends. Consult the International Center if looking for outside providers. If you have a job offer, consult with your employer for health insurance options available through them.

  • Get to know resources and benefits available to you through Tufts Alumni
  • Contact your school's Career Center to learn more about resources and support for alumni, including job search counseling and other benefits