Transfer of Degree Program, School or Field of Study-Office of International Education - Carnegie Mellon University

Transfer of Degree Program, School or Field of Study

If you wish to transfer to a higher or additional degree program or to a different field of study (whether at Carnegie Mellon or at another institution) you must receive new immigration documents for the new program of study AND begin the program within 5 months of the SEVIS transfer date.

Beginning a new program at CMU

If you are a Carnegie Mellon student who will remain at Carnegie Mellon, and will:

  • change educational level (such as Bachelor's to Master's or Masters to Doctorate)
  • enter the Master's portion of an integrated Master's program
  • start a new program at the same educational level (i.e., a student who has completed one Master's program and will start in a new one, or who is transferring from one graduate program to another)

You MUST contact the Office of International Education (OIE) at least 30 days before either

a) your current I-20/DS-2019 completion date or

b) the change of program goes into effect, whichever comes first.

The Change of Program Request Form (.pdf) has detailed instructions for updating your I-20/DS-2019.

This does not apply to undergraduates who are changing major. If you are an undergraduate and you are changing your major, you will be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 automatically when your information is updated in SIS (the Student Information System). If you do not receive notification from OIE of a new I-20 within 10 days of the change, you should contact OIE.

Transferring to another school

If you are a student at Carnegie Mellon who will pursue a program of study at another school in the US, once you have been accepted by the new institution AND have decided to attend that institution, you should follow the procedures outlined below:

1.      Notify your OIE advisor of your intent to transfer by completing the CMU Transfer Out Form (.pdf) and submitting it to OIE. Note: the transfer release must be set before the end of your 60 grace period for F-1 students.  The release date should be prior to the end of your program or end date on the DS-2019 for J-1 students.

2.      Follow the reporting instructions from your new school and report to the international student advisor at the new school in order to complete the transfer process at the new institution.

Your SEVIS ID number will not change; therefore, you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again.  In addition, by following the SEVIS transfer process above, you may travel using your current, unexpired F or J visa sticket if it is still valid regardless of the school's name printed on the visa.  You must use the new school's I-20/DS-2019 to reenter the US after the SEVIS transfer date.

Students who initiate the transfer out process must be very certain about the specific institution they will attend as it may be difficult, or even impossible, for OIE to make changes later.

Transferring from another school to Carnegie Mellon University

If you are attending another school in the US and will begin a program at Carnegie Mellon University, you must transfer your SEVIS record to CMU so that we can issue you a CMU immigration document. To transfer, you must:

1.      Notify your current international student advisor of your intent to transfer to CMU. Follow any transfer out procedures required by your current school. Note: the transfer release must be set before the end of your 60 grace period for F-1 students.  The release date should be prior to the end of your program or end date on the DS-2019 for J-1 students.

2.      Complete the CMU Transfer In Form (.pdf) with your current international student advisor and submit it to OIE.

To complete the transfer process:  Report to OIE within 15 days of the CMU start date and check-in with your immigration documents as directed in your arrival information. If you were not a full-time student at your current school or were otherwise not maintaining status, you must contact OIE to discuss the procedure for applying for a reinstatement to student status. The internatinal student advisor at your current school will be able to tell you if you were considered to be a full-time student who is eligible for the transfer procedure.

Your SEVIS ID number will not change; therefore, you are not required to pay the SEVIS fee again.  In addition, by following the SEVIS transfer process above, you may travel using your current, unexpired F or J visa sticket if it is still valid regardless of the school's name printed on the visa.  You must use the new I-20/DS-2019 issued by CMU to reenter the US after the SEVIS transfer date.

Reporting to the New School

You must report to the transfer-in school to complete the required check-in processes. Students must report as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the program start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. 

Students who are traveling are encouraged to discuss their plans or any questions they have with an OIE advisor. OIE advisors may be contacted at: oie@andrew.cmu.edu.

Last Updated:  January 10, 2017