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Full-Time Enrollment

As an international student, you are required to enroll full time each fall and spring semester. What is full time?

Undergraduate Students

  • Must complete at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester

Graduate Students

  • Must complete at least 9 credit hours each fall and spring semester unless they have a 20-hour-per-week (50 percent time) assistantship position. Students with a 20-hour-per-week assistantship must complete at least 6 credit hours each fall and spring semester.

Full-Time Enrollment Chart

Student Type Minimum Credit Hours
Undergraduate Students 12
Graduate students with no assistantship 9
Graduate students with assistantship of less than 20 hrs per week 9
Graduate students with assistantship of 20 hrs per week (50% time) 6

Which classes count as full time?

√Classes taken for a grade (A, B, C, D, or F), Pass/Fail (P/F), or Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC)

√One class taken online may count (up to 3 credit hours)

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, SEVP allowed students in spring 2020 to be enrolled fully online when the university changed all courses to be online only. Check with CGE advisors if you have questions about courses taken online in fall 2020.

Which classes do not count as full time?

⊗Classes taken for audit (AU)

⊗Class taken for part of the semester and withdrawn (W)

⊗More than one online course or any online course that counts for more than 3 credit hours

⊗Registering for “Use of Facilities” does not meet the criteria for registration in a course of study.

Are there any exceptions to full-time enrollment?

Yes. Students may enroll in fewer than the minimum credit hours in the following situations:

  • A student who, in the final semester of the academic program, requires less than the full-time load in order to graduate
  • A student who has a medical condition that requires a reduction of course load (letter from a doctor explaining the reason(s) is required)
  • A graduate student who has completed all course work and is working only on thesis/dissertation hours

Enrollment Requirements for the 2021-2022 Academic Year


The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published Immigration regulatory guidance and (SEVP) posted a broadcast message on April 26, 2021 related to COVID-19 and online enrollment. This allows flexibility for F-1 and J-1 students in the U.S. if in-person courses are not available. F-1 students are still required to enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. However, the following advice reflects the best practice for our students for 2021-2022.

To Enroll in a Full Course of Study in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, students should:

  1. Take as many face to face courses as possible. For example, if a course is offered both face to face and online, select the face to face option.
  2. Enroll in at least one face to face class.

If you cannot enroll in at least one face to face course, speak with your academic advisor (undergraduate students) or your department (graduate students) first. If you still are unable to add a face to face course, sign up for Virtual Immigration Advising to speak with an ISSS advisor.

Consult with a CGE advisor in Immigration Advising before taking less than the full-time course load. If you qualify for a below-full-time exception, log in to the iVols portal and submit the “Below Full-Time Request.” If you have any questions, contact a CGE advisor.