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Enrollment Requirements

Full Time Requirement
All students must be sure to enroll in a full course of study for all Academic Semesters.

Academic Semesters are defined as:
  • Every Fall
  • Every Spring
  • Summer, if it is the student's first or last semester of study

A full course of study is defined as:
  • A minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate students
  • A minimum of 9 credits for graduate students in Fall and Spring semesters and a minimum of 6 credits in Summer semesters

Failure to be enrolled in a full course of study by the Add/Drop Date for the semester of enrollment may result in the loss of F-1 status and termination of SEVIS record and I-20.

Online and Hybrid Courses
Students are permitted to count only one online course (3 credits) toward the full time requirement.  Hybrid courses are considered in-person courses for immigration purposes and do not count toward the online limits.

Students who enroll in additional credits beyond the minimum full time requirements may enroll in additional online courses.

Please note that there may be different requirements regarding online courses for sponsorships, scholarships, athletics, on campus jobs, and others.

Exceptions to Full Time Requirements
Always receive written permission from ISSS before you drop below full time status.  Exceptions to the full time requirement are rare, but include:
  • Academic Reasons:
    • English Language difficulties
    • Unfamiliarity with US teaching methods
    • Improper course placement level
  • Illness or medical condition
  • Final semester to complete course of study
See information on Reduced Course Loads for details how to request this approval.

Retroactive Withdrawals
If a student retroactively withdraws from a course or courses which makes the student under-enrolled, no action will be taken on the student's SEVIS record provided the following applies:
  • ​The withdrawal occurs after the date that grades are due in a semester.
  • The student maintains documentation of when the withdrawal occurred.
  • The student maintains documentation of why the withdrawal occurred.
If a student withdraws from a course or courses which makes the student under-enrolled before the date that grades are due in a semester and the student does not have an appropriate authorization for a Reduced Course Load, the student's SEVIS record and I-20 will be terminated for unauthorized drop below full time.