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Graduating This Semester?

If you will be graduating this semester, here are some things you probably need to do:

At the beginning of the semester:

  • See your academic advisor for any paperwork you need to complete for your college, for the Graduate School, or to participate in the graduation ceremony. Make sure you are meeting all the requirements for your degree and will really be ready to graduate at the end of the semester.
  • If you would like to remain in the United States for one extra year to work, see an advisor in ISSS to apply for work permission. J-1 students can do Academic Training. F-1 students can do Optional Practical Training. OPT applications can take around 4 months to be processed, so apply at the beginning of the semester if you want to begin work at the end of the semester.
  • If you are interested in working in the United States after graduating, start visiting Career Services. They have information about how to find jobs, and can guide you in finding companies that hire international students in the United States or abroad.
  • If you plan to leave the United States after graduating, make flight arrangements for your return home. Be sure to book the flight before the end of your 30 or 60 days grace period.
  • If you will stay in the United States because you plan to transfer or begin study at a different school, talk to an advisor in ISSS for information about your immigration status.

Two to three months before leaving the United States or graduating and moving:

  • Start packing non-essential items, such as summer or winter clothing, decorative items, etc.
  • If family or friends will be visiting you for the graduation ceremony, begin work on finding places for them to stay (hotels can fill quickly). If your friends or relatives will need tourist visas to enter the United States, remind them to work on applying for the visas at the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to them.

One month before leaving the United States or graduating and moving:

  • Notify your landlord that you will be vacating your apartment. Most leases require you to give written notice at least 30 days in advance—check your lease for details.
  • Make sure your roommates are aware of your plans.
  • Arrange for a checkout appointment with your landlord. Together you should walk through your apartment to inspect and note any damage.
  • Review your lease to make sure you understand it before you have the walk-through inspection with your landlord. This will help you understand what to expect during the inspection. (Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations has helpful information about leases.)
  • Agree on a date to receive your security deposit refund from your landlord. Ask to have the agreement in writing.
  • Cancel all your utility accounts and newspaper subscriptions.
  • Make arrangements with your bank to close your account(s).  You may wish to leave the account open for a few months after you leave in case there are expenses that come up. 
  • Contact health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance companies to discuss coverage options and whether to close the account.
  • Consider what to do with your vehicle if you have one. You can sell it and use the funds for your trip home. If you live in North or South America, you may be able to drive the car home. If you live elsewhere you may consider shipping the car home, although this can be quite expensive. 
  • Leave a forwarding address at your local Post Office so they can send your mail to your new address. The Boulder Main Post Office is located at 1905 15th Street.
  • Notify credit card companies, magazines you subscribe to, and other home delivery services of your change of address. Request final billing statements if you are canceling these services.
  • Pay any fines you might have (library, Bursar's Office, parking fines, etc.). If you owe any money to the University of Colorado, you will not be able to get your diploma or transcripts until you pay the money. Return any library books you might have.
  • Visit the commencement website for details on Diplomas. To ensure that you receive your diploma, please update your home address in MyCUInfo, It may be possible to make special arrangements with them to have a friend pick it up and mail it via courier to you.
  • Contact shipping companies for best rates and make arrangements to ship your items home in a timely manner.
  • Sell miscellaneous furniture, appliances, computers, automobiles, bikes, etc., by holding a garage sale, placing advertisements on placing advertisements on Craig’s List, or in the classified section of the local newspaper
  • Unsubscribe from email lists you will no longer need.

Even after leaving the US, if you earned income during your last year present you will still have tax filing obligations.  For more information see our page on Tax Obligations.  

Graduates of CU Boulder get to keep your colorado.edu email address for life.  For more information see the Office of Information Technology Email for Life page.