University of Wisconsin–Madison

FULL TIME ENROLLMENT

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.

    • English as a Second Language Students: 6 credits.
    • Undergraduate Students: 12 credits.
    • Graduates Students:  8 credits
      • 6 credits for graduates with a 33.3% Teaching Assistantships (TA) / Project Assistantships (PA)
      • 4 credits for graduates with a 50% TA/PA
      • 3 credits for dissertators
      • Please also check department requirements

    Info can also be found at the grad school policies under enrollment/ assistantships;

    http://www.grad.wisc.edu/education/acadpolicy/guidelines.html#EnrollmentRequirements

    • 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, 12 credits is the typical minimum for those studying at the undergraduate level. Those studying at the graduate level will be full-time at 8 credits and dissertators at 3 credits as indicated in the admissions letter.
  • Summer Enrollment

    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.

        • The Graduate School does set lower minimum enrollment levels for some assistantships. Students should confirm minimum enrollment loads with their employing department.
      • 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:

    • The academic program requires summer enrollment.
    • An award (such as a fellowship), or employment (such as a graduate assistantship), requires summer enrollment.