Registration Requirements and Restrictions

FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS

Please note: summer and winter are optional terms for continuing students. This means that continuing international students are able to take classes during summer and winter semester as they choose, as long as they are maintaining their respective F-1 or J-1 status.

Exceptions can be made for extraordinary circumstances with a clearly stated rationale per U.S. Federal Regulations. For undergraduate students, these exceptions are approved by the student's Academic Advisor. Graduate student exceptions are approved by graduate coordinators and faculty advisors. Additional approval from OISS may be required.

Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 and J-1 status to register as a full-time student for the fall and spring semesters. Students are required to maintain a full-time course load throughout the fall and spring semesters, which means that all courses must last for the entire 15 week semester.

For immigration purposes, the minimum full-time enrollment is defined as follows:

Undergraduate students = 12 credits

Graduate students = 9 credits

Courses that are audited do not count towards meeting the minimum full-time enrollment requirement.

Full-Time Enrollment Exceptions:

F-1 students who would like to request an exception to the full-time requirement may do so by requested a reduced course load. Under certain circumstances, students may be authorized to reduce their course load. This authorization must be requested prior to the beginning of the semester the reduction is requested for. Please see section on the Reduced Course Load (RCL) form for more information. Any student who fails to enroll in a full course of study by the Add/Drop Deadline or drops below a full course of study without prior authorization by OISS is considered to be out of status. 

Immigration regulations limit the number of online courses a student can count towards full-time status. Students are able to register for online classes if they follow the online vs. in-class combo chart below:

Undergraduate

GRaduate

1 online + 3 in-person = 4 courses total 

1 online + 2 in-person = 3 courses total

2 online + 3 in-person = 5 courses total

2 online + 2 in-person = 4 courses total

3 online + 3 in-person = 6 courses total

3 online + 2 in-person = 5 courses total

International Students are not permitted to enroll in 8A/8B courses.

International Students are NOT PERMITTED TO ENROLL IN ANY CLASS (in-person or online) DURING THE 8A/8B SESSION

Exceptions for 8A/8B courses will be made for extraordinary circumstances with a clearly stated rationale. For undergraduate students, these exceptions are first approved by Academic Advising and Graduate student exceptions are first approved by graduate coordinators and faculty advisors. OISS has the final approval for these exceptions.

PART TIME ENROLLMENT – REDUCED COURSE LOAD (RCL)

Under certain circumstances, students may be authorized to reduce their course load. This authorization must be requested prior to the beginning of the semester the reduction is requested for. Any student who fails to enroll in a full course of study by the add/drop deadline, or drops below a full course of study without prior authorization by OISS, is considered to be out of status.

Please be advised that the following do not constitute a valid reason to reduce course load according to U.S. Federal Regulations:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of financial support

Exceptions to the full course of study requirements are very limited; however, if deemed appropriate OISS may authorize a student to reduce his/her course load in adherence to the U.S. Federal Regulations.

Please note:

After completing reduced course load (RCL), students are unable to:

  1. Request an RCL for another semester
  2. Apply for program extension

Acceptable RCL Circumstances

Academic Reasons

Minimum enrollment of six credit hours required

[8 CFR 214.2 (f)(6)(v)]

  • Having initial difficulties with the English language or reading requirements
  • Experiencing unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
  • Student was placed in an inappropriate course level

Illness or Medical Condition

[8 CFR 214.2 (f)(5)(i)]

International students may be authorized to drop or withdraw from classes in the case that the student experiences unforeseen illness or a medical condition. A reduction in courses due to medical reasons must be authorized for each semester in question, not to exceed 12 months. The student must provide a statement by a licensed U.S. medical professional, on letterhead (not prescription pad) documenting the following:

  1. The medical necessity to reduce courses
  2. The semester for which the reduction is requested for
  3. The advised action (reduction in course or withdrawal)

Final Semester

To Complete Course of Study in Current Term

[8 CFR 214.2 (f)(6)(ii)]

A student can request an RCL for Fall or Spring if their last semester course requirements fall below the full-time credit requirement. An RCL is not required if the student's last semester occurs during a summer or winter term.