International students in F-1 or J-1 status are required by law to register for and complete a full course load every semester, or receive OGS approval for part-time enrollment. Please note, F-1 regulations stipulate that only one online class may count towards full time status in any fall or spring semester. Failure to comply with this regulation may have extremely severe consequences including removal from the United States.
Part-time enrollment is permitted only in limited circumstances based upon federal immigration regulations and requires the prior approval of the OGS. Part-time enrollment cannot be authorized retroactively. In order to apply for part-time enrollment, you must first discuss your situation with your academic advisor then apply to the OGS using the on-line form. Part-time enrollment is permitted if one of the following applies:
If you are enrolled on a part-time basis but did not obtain OGS approval, you will lose the benefits of lawful student status and may even lose your eligibility to stay in the United States. These benefits include:
Graduate students registered for less than 12 credits may, in certain situations, be granted "full-time equivalency" by their schools or academic departments. Once the full-time equivalency is granted, you do not need to obtain part-time enrollment approval from the OGS. Typically, full-time equivalency is granted if one of the following applies:
Undergraduates must always be full-time by registering for and completing a minimum of 12 credits every fall and spring semester. However, a normal course of full-time study for undergraduates is typically 14-16 credits or more.