Full-Time Enrollment Requirements
In order to maintain status, F-1 students must be enrolled full time each semester. The number of credit hours required to be considered full time varies depending upon your program of study and the semester (see your program catalog for additional information on enrollment requirements).
In most cases, international students do not need to be enrolled full time during the summer term. Students may choose to be enrolled full time, half time or not at all.
Exceptions to full-time enrollment:
Immigration regulations do provide some exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement in special situations. However, all exceptions MUST be authorized by a Designated School Official (DSO) in CARE before you drop below full time. Dropping below full time without authorization from CARE is a violation of your F-1 status! The exceptions are:
- Academic difficulties. A DSO may authorize a reduced course load on account of a student’s initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods, or improper course level placement.
- Medical conditions. A DSO may authorize a reduced course load (or, if necessary, no course load) due to a student’s temporary illness or medical condition. In order qualify, the student must provide medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor or clinical psychologist to a CARE advisor to substantiate the illness or medical condition.
- Completion of course of study. A DSO may authorize a reduced course load in the student’s final term, semester, or session if fewer courses are needed to complete the course of study.
To learn more about these exceptions or see if you qualify for a reduced course load, please make an appointment to see a Designated School Official in CARE before you drop any classes.