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Rackham Admissions and COVID-19

Rackham Graduate School understands there are many questions related to the admissions process during this global health crisis. We are doing our best to provide service while honoring Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, requiring all Rackham staff members to work remotely while our office is closed. Below, you can find information and resources to assist you during this time. This page will be updated as new information becomes available, so please check back frequently.

Admissions and Enrollment

Is Rackham continuing to approve offers of admission?

Yes, the admissions staff is sending email communications confirming that admission is approved and providing instructions related to enrollment.

Can my application fee be refunded?

The fee is nonrefundable as it is used to defray administrative costs for the application system.

How can I confirm the receipt of my documents?

In order to maintain health and safe work conditions, all Rackham staff are working remotely until further notice. This is producing delays in completing the processing transcripts and immigration documents. You will not be able to confirm receipt of your transcripts in Wolverine Access before our return to the office.

My university is closed and cannot send official transcripts by the deadline. What should I do as a newly admitted student?

If you have received an offer of admission on the condition that you will provide additional document(s) to Rackham, you must submit one official final transcript/academic record from the institution where you have earned or will earn a bachelor’s degree.

Students who received their degree from an institution outside of the United States should review the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions page for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region. Refer to your admission email to see if you need to send an official final transcript/academic record. The official final transcript/academic record must be provided by the end of your first term.

If you attended an institution in China

If you attended an institution in China and you do not have an official and final transcript, Certificate of Graduation, and Degree Diploma, your transcripts and degree certificates can be verified by the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC) and/or the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC).

Verification Report of China Higher Education Qualification Certificate (高等教育学历认证报告) (Paper or Online) from CHESICC.

Verification Report of China Higher Education Student's Academic Transcript (大学成绩认证报告) from CHESICC.

Verification Report confirming the award of the degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D.) from CHESICC.

If you attended an institution in India

If you attended an institution in India, we only accept electronic transcripts from India sent via TrueCopy Credentials or request the Registrar (or Recorder of Records) send an electronic transcript and Transcripts/Academic Records Submission Form to racketranscripts@umich.edu. If it is not possible to include the Transcripts/Academic Records Submission Form, do not mail or submit separately. .

Because of the interruptions caused by COVID-19, can my international university/college email my official transcript to Rackham?

Yes. Request that the Registrar (or Recorder of Records) send an electronic transcript and Transcripts/Academic Records Submission Form to racketranscripts@umich.edu. If it is not possible to include the Transcripts/Academic Records Submission Form, do not mail or submit separately.

Is it possible for the English proficiency tests to be waived because of interruptions caused by COVID-19?

No, however, ETS has expanded the availability of at-home testing for the TOEFL Exam. IELTS is offering the IELTS Indicator as an at-home test.

Will you accept the Duolingo English test?

Rackham Admissions is not accepting the Duolingo English test at this time. We accept the TOEFL, ECPE, IELTS, and MET/MELAB. Learn more about the English exams we accept on our Tests page.

Can I update my TOEFL/IELTS scores after submitting my application?

Updated test scores are acceptable as they become available.

Can I request a deferral of admission?

Graduate programs may grant a request to defer admission for up to one year following the original term of application. Send your deferral request to the graduate program. You must include the reason for deferral in your request. Decisions to approve deferral requests are made carefully, and not all requests may be approved.

International applicants approved for deferral by the graduate program do not need to submit financial documents until they receive further direction from Rackham.

Will classes be conducted remotely in the fall?

The University of Michigan has made no statement regarding remote instruction for the fall 2020 term. U-M officials and medical experts, in close coordination with the state and local public health experts, are closely monitoring developments and will offer additional guidance to the university community as soon as it is available. Your program will follow up with information if classes are held remotely in the fall.

Immigration Documents

When is the last date I can submit financial documents? Is there any flexibility because of COVID-19 interruptions?

Rackham has extended the deadline to May 25 for submitting the required financial documentation for the issuance of the I-20 for the F-1 visa or the DS-2019 for the J-1 visa. The program will be consulted about the request to extend the deadline. But delays in submitting these documents may limit the time needed to apply for and process your visa application.

Another option to consider is to request a deferral of your admission to the next available term. When the graduate program approves the admission deferral, Rackham will update your application record.

When will you process financial documents? Are immigration documents being processed?

The admissions staff is reviewing and approving the financial uploads daily. As the staff are working remotely, the processing time is longer than the normal three weeks. Please be patient. At this time, processing takes a minimum of 20 business days, or four weeks, for financial documents to be processed. At this time, we are not able to guarantee a date by which the I-20 or DS-2019 can be shipped.

What forms of financial documentation are acceptable?

There are a number of options that are acceptable. An official dated bank statement, a detailed letter from the sponsor, or a letter from the University of Michigan program or department providing an award. Learn what forms of financial documentation are acceptable on our Immigration Documents for International Students page.

How can I receive my new initial I-20/DS-2019?

Once you have submitted all required financial documents to Rackham Admissions and have matriculated into your program, sign up and pay for eShipGlobal. Your I-20 or DS-2019 will be shipped by the courier service (FedEx, or UPS) you select.

When will I be able to obtain my SEVIS ID number?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rackham is continuing to review uploaded financial documents. The SEVIS ID can be obtained in your Wolverine Access Friend Account after your immigration document is created. The SEVIS ID number will allow you to obtain a visa interview and pay the SEVIS fee.

The shipment of I-20s/DS-2019s is delayed while staff are working remotely.

Will I still be able to get a student visa?

The global COVID-19 situation is dynamic and quickly changing. As of March 20, 2020, all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world have suspended the routine processing of visas due to COVID-19. Please check the U.S. Department of State's visa page for announcements and updates in order to stay informed about the resumption of consular services and visa processing times. The University of Michigan International Center is closely monitoring this and will provide updates as necessary. You may also wish to check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you for any other updates.

Do I need to submit financial documents before I request a deferral?

No. International applicants approved for deferral by the graduate program do not need to submit financial documents until they receive further direction from Rackham Admissions.

My program is offering online classes for fall 2020. How do I obtain a immigration document for winter 2021?

Rackham Admissions is currently working on fall 2020 immigration documents. winter 2021 immigration document processing will begin July 2020. Applicants should contact their programs about their intentions to attend classes remotely fall 2020.

Note: not all programs are currently offering online classes for fall 2020.

I am an international student who is completing a degree program at another U.S. university. What is the latest date to transfer my SEVIS record to the University of Michigan?

For students admitted for fall 2020, the latest release date from your current school is August 21, 2020.

How do I receive my transfer in I-20 or DS-2019?

You are required to provide the documents as stated in the admission email notification and upload them in Wolverine Access.

Sign up and pay for eShipGlobal. Your I-20 or DS-2019 will then be shipped by the courier service (FedEx, or UPS) you selected.

Do I need a student visa to start a fully online summer 2020 program?

For programs offering classes in the summer term, these classes will be online for the 2020 summer term. An immigration document and visa are not required if you are residing in your home country and taking these classes online.

If you are currently residing in the United States in F-1 status or J-1 status, your SEVIS record will be transferred to the University of Michigan. A new I-20 or DS-2019 will be prepared for you.

What happens if my program is only offering online classes this fall semester?

If all classes in your program are online and you will be taking these from your home country or outside the U.S., you will not need and not be issued an immigration document. Applicants should contact their programs about their intentions to attend classes remotely fall 2020.

I am a current University of Michigan student. How do I obtain my change of level I-20 or DS-2019?

You are required to provide the documents as stated in the admission email notification and upload them in Wolverine Access.Sign up and pay for eShipGlobal. Your I-20 or DS-2019 will then be shipped by the courier service (FedEx, or UPS) you selected.

Issues for Current Students

What should current students who have returned to their home country do to plan their return?

Students must consult with their program and the International Center.

What date do winter 2020 master’s applicants need to submit official transcripts?

The deadline to submit all documents was extended to May 8. If you are not able to meet the May 8 deadline, contact rackadmis@umich.edu.

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