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F-1 and J-1 student visa holders are required by the regulations governing their status to enroll full-time on the campus which issued their I-20 or DS-2019.
Fall and Spring Semester Enrollment
Full-time enrollment during the Fall and Spring Semesters is required. The minimum full-time credit loads by program of study are listed below.
Info can also be found at the grad school policies under enrollment/ assistantships;
Summer enrollment is generally not required for continuing students (that is, students who enrolled full-time for the Spring semester and intend to enroll full-time for the Fall semester). However, there are two important exceptions which require summer enrollment.
Students arriving from abroad to begin a program of study or resume studies after a break in status are required to enroll full-time during the summer.
English as a Second Language: 4 credits.
Undergraduates: 6 credits.
Graduate Students: 4 credits.
Professional Students: varies by school/college; students must confirm with their departments.
Visiting International Student Program (VISP) and Exchange Students: unless otherwise noted in your admission letter, 6 credits is the typical minimum for those studying at the undergraduate level. Those studying at the graduate level will be full-time at 4 credits and dissertators at 3 credits as indicated in the admissions letter.
Students graduating during the summer term are required to enroll for on-campus credits. Full-time enrollment is not required; rather, students are to take the credits required to complete. To remain in the US while finishing degree requirements and, in order to be eligible to participate in post-degree completion work opportunities, final credits may not be on-line/distance learning. Students considering completion of final work while abroad or through another institution must discuss this matter with ISS as there are serious consequences for F-1 and J-1 status and benefits.
Please note: the following reasons unrelated to F-1 or J-1 student status may require summer enrollment: