Graduation and the International Student

 Here are a few, brief notes regarding your student status as you reach the end of your studies.


Graduation Meeting

There are graduation meetings in early September and late January. Although it is not required, it is very useful and only 15 minutes. Notifications are sent by UNA email to students who have applied for graduation or notifed OIA through Report In.

Apply for Graduation

If you want a diploma, you must apply to graduate through the Office of the Registrar at UNA. Find the link in your UNA Portal.

Visit the Registrar's webpages for the most current information.

Grace Period

When you apply to graduate from UNA, this causes changes to your Form I-20 or DS-2019. Your End Date will be shortened to match your graduation date. A DSO or ARO will notify you by UNA email when this happens.

F-1 students are granted a 60-day Grace Period after the completion of a Form I-20. J-1 students are granted a 30-day grace period after the completion of the DS-2019. This Grace Period immediately follows the End Date on your I-20 or DS-2019.

You may also be interested in Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 students.

family at graduation

Inviting Family Members

The Office of International Affairs cannot invite individuals to the United States. We do not have that authority. We can provide a letter which confirms that you are an F-1 or J-1 student in good standing and that you have applied for graduation. You can provide this letter to family members who are seeking a visitor visa to attend your graduation ceremony. This letter can help your family members establish the purpose and timing of their travel.

To request this letter, email Be sure to include the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Student ID (L Number)
  • Expected Date of Graduation

International Shipping for Diplomas

UNA mails diplomas approximately 6 weeks after the end of the semester. This is due to processing time with UNA and the State of Alabama. Diplomas are sent via the US Postal Service. There is no tracking on the shipment. Some international students experience difficulty in receiving the diploma in this method when they have returned home. The Office of International Affairs is happy to assist you with shipping of your diploma through UPS worldwide. This package will have confirmation of delivery and a tracking number. You must make arrangements prior to leaving campus and you will be responsible for payment of the cost of shipping. Please come to Powers Hall to set up the process or email for details.

Degree Verification

UNA Students can request a verification of their US-degree through the National Student Clearinghouse. A fee is charged.

Apostille or Certification

Some countries request that your US diploma have an apostille to verify that it is legitimate. This is a legal process that involves the State of Alabama. The UNA Registrar's Office will guide you through the process.