F-1: Change of Program, Degree Level, or Funding

 The Form I-20 indicates your:

  • Degree level (Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, other)
  • Degree program (major)
  • Funding source and amount

Changes to any information in those areas require a new Form I-20 be prepared by ISS.

Change of Funding

It is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirement that you must update your I-20 when your source of funding changes. If your funding has changed, you must inform ISS by submitting a Financial Update e-form. You will be required to upload evidence of your new funding. ISS will produce a new I-20 for you reflecting the new funding.

Examples of when to update your funding:

  • You now have a graduate assistantship or fellowship from Purdue, but your I-20 shows that you are currently funded by Family Funds. 
  • Your I-20 shows that you are funded by your home government. The funding from your home government has stopped and you are now funded by your family.
  • You now have a scholarship that will pay for part of your college expenses, but your I-20 shows that you are currently funded by your own funds. 

Note: Do not update your funding for CPT employment or on-campus employment (unless you receive tuition remission).

Requirements for Financial Documents

  • The document must be in English or must be accompanied by an official English translation. 
  • The document is not required to be in US Dollars, but it must state the currency type.
  • The funds in the account must be considered "liquid" funds which are immediately accessible (for example, checking or savings account).  (Tax returns, real estate, evidence of historic income and/or or a commitment to future income is not acceptable.)
  • The document must contain a date, and the date may not be more than one year old from the date we receive it.
  • The document must not say "for admission purposes only".
  • If the document is an offer from Purdue University for an assistantship, scholarship, or fellowship, the document must:
    • Clearly define the terms of the of the financial commitment
    • Be on Purdue letterhead
    • Contain the signature of the Purdue official who extended the offer

Change of Program

ISS is informed once each semester when students changes major and we will automatically produce an updated I-20 for those students. If you have not received an updated I-20 by the middle of the semester after which you have changed majors, please contact ISS.

Change of Education Level

Follow these instructions when completing one academic program and starting a new one, such as completing a Masters degree and starting a PhD. The US Department of Homeland Security calls this process a "Change of Education Level" (COEL). It requires a new I-20 be issued.

Request a new I-20 for a COEL by submitting this eform: MyISS>F-1 and J-1 Student Services>Change of Education Level.

The following is required to submit this eform:  

  • Admission letter from your department or graduate school
    • Based on your new academic program
    • Admission letter is not required if changing education level within the graduate school, such as changing from a masters to a PhD. In such cases, the eform permits skipping this as optional
  • Original funding document
    • Examples: Assistantship letter, original bank statement, sponsor funding letter, etc.
    • If funded by an assistantship, the offer letter from your department’s business office is sufficient. It must state your monthly stipend, 10 or 12 month appointment, and how long the department will be funding you
    • If you have questions about your financial letter, please contact the ISS office according to the info on this site.
  • New Academic Program Contact name and email address
  • Passport, visa and I-94 record of admission

COEL Timeline

  1. Deadline to Submit: Upon completing your current program, you must submit all documents listed above at least 14 calendar days prior to the end of your 60-day grace period (even if the I-20 has a future end date). 
    • Graduate School approval is required for a COEL I-20. 
    • The new I-20 must be issued prior to the start date of the new educational level and no later than 60 days past the completion of the lower education level. Failure to submit required documents in a timely manner can adversely affect your legal status in the United States.
  2. Combined Program Instructions
    • Please contact your academic department if you want to confirm your program type or to understand 3+2 programs and 4+1 programs. 
    • 3+2 Programs: Please wait until you have completed your current program before submitting a COEL eform request. So if you will complete a bachelor program in May, you must wait until May to submit the COEL eform.
    • 4+1 Programs: Please submit the COEL eform during the semester when you will complete the current program. So if you have a bachelor program that you will complete in May, you may submit the COEL eform as early as the January beforehand.
  3. Academic Contact Support: Upon submitting the COEL eform, an email is sent to the new academic program contact. You may wish to inform your contact person that they will receive an ISS email with instructions for completing your request. It is your responsibility to ensure your contact receives and responds to this request: ISS cannot start processing your request until the academic contact has responded. 
  4. When the new academic program contact has responded, you will receive an email receipt, notifying you that ISS will complete the request within 14 calendar days.
  5. You will be notified via email when the new I-20 is ready to pick up from the ISS front desk.

If you have questions regarding the COEL process, feel free to contact ISS according to the info on this site.