We firmly believe in the power of an in-person educational experience. Having students living on and near campus and participating in-person is a defining characteristic of a great research university like IU Bloomington.
If you are able to travel to Bloomington, we will warmly welcome you in person, and provide as safe a physical environment as we are able to.
You will need to enroll in a full course of study, which can be a mix of online and in-person classes.
New, initial status F-1 students will need to enroll in at least one in-person class (coded as P, HY, IN, or IS on your class schedule). Whenever possible, the in-person class should be 3 credit hours, but a 1-credit-hour class is also permissible as long as you are enrolled in a full course of study and making normal degree progress.
If you are transferring your SEVIS record to IU for spring 2021 and were actively enrolled at the previous school on March 9, 2020, you are not required to enroll in any in-person courses. However, we encourage all new Hoosiers to come to Bloomington to begin to build their campus and community networks, even if they may be enrolled in only online courses.
Preparing for arrival
If you plan to travel to Bloomington for spring 2021, here are some important items to keep in mind:
- You need to arrive by Tuesday, January 19, 2021. This is the date on your I-20 or DS-2019.
- If you are unable to arrive by January 19:
- Undergraduate students: you need to arrive no later than January 22. If you are unable to arrive by January 22, you need to either begin your degree online or defer your admission to fall 2021.
- Graduate students: you will work with your academic department to determine how late you can arrive.
- Make sure you review the entry restrictions. You will not be able to enter the U.S. if you are traveling from, or have traveled through, certain countries in the 14 days before your attempted entry to the U.S.
- Some U.S. embassies and consulates have resumed visa interviews. Consular services are available at the discretion of respective consular posts. Learn more about what services are currently available at the consulate nearest you.
- Some embassies or airlines may ask for a letter stating that IU is open. You can use this letter.
- Effective January 26, 2021, you will need to show a negative COVID-19 test to your airline before you will be allowed to travel to the U.S. Learn more
- You will need to obtain a COVID-19 test as soon as possible after you arrive.
We understand the unique circumstances you have to navigate if you're currently outside the U.S. (travel arrangements, visa delays, entry restrictions coming into the U.S., etc.). We will fully support you if you can't, or choose not to, travel to Bloomington at this time.
If you choose to start online, know that we are preparing virtual community events, planning for faculty and student interactions, and working to ensure you have the same incredible IU experience. We have a long history of providing innovative learning experiences online—in fact IU was among the first universities to provide an online MBA option, and it is now the top program in the U.S.
Graduate students, you will need to work with your academic department to determine how an online start option will be implemented for your degree.
Immigration and visa considerations
You are able to enroll in a full course of study from outside the U.S. We will provide an immigration document when you are able to arrive.
If you are interested in Curricular Practical Training (work authorization typically used for internships), be aware that you have to be inside the U.S. for a full academic year before you are eligible for CPT.
Combined mandatory fee
All students are required to pay the Combined Mandatory Fee based on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in. If you are taking fully online classes outside of Bloomington, you can apply for a discount.
Note: the Combined Mandatory Fee does not include the international student fee, which you will still be charged even if you are fully online.
Undergraduate students, if you choose not to enroll in January, you have the option of deferring to fall 2021 or spring 2022. You will keep any scholarship awards you've received.
Graduate students, work with your academic department to determine what deferral options are available.