Group of students representing different countries

Program Extension

An F-1 student who is currently maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing his or her educational objective, but who is unable to complete his or her course of study by the program end date on the Form I-20, must apply prior to the program end date for a program extension.



A student is eligible for a program extension in the following instances:

  • Change in Academic Plan. You have changed your major, minor, or research topic and need more time to complete the academic requirements.
  • Documented Illness. You have obtained a Reduced Course Load in the past for documented medical or psychological reasons, which has delayed your academic progress.
  • Other Compelling Academic Reasons. Your academic progress has been delayed by some other circumstance beyond your control (e.g. advisor on sabbatical, course cancellation, limited required course offering, internship participation, etc.). Discuss this with your academic advisor. He or she will have to explain these circumstances when filling out your request.

You must have continually maintained your F-1 student status to be eligible for a program extension. Delays caused by academic probation, suspension, or poor academic performances are not grounds for a program extension.



  1. Meet with the International Students Coordinator (ISC) prior to the program end date listed on your I-20 to discuss your situation. You do not need to make an appointment.
  2. Provide original financial documentation showing sufficient funding for tuition, fees, and living expenses through your new program end date. Bring these documents to ISC or scan and email them to
  3. If you have a medical condition or illness, secure a letter from your licensed physician recommending a program extension and give it to an international student and scholar advisor or scan and email it to

Contact Us

portrait of female
Patricia J. Higgins, PDSO

International Admissions Specialist
Tennessee Consortium for International Studies
Fax: 865-539-7660
Goins Administration Building, Room 106
Hardin Valley Campus