Summer and Fall Enrollment Reminders

Dear Students, 

We are writing to remind you of your F-1/J-1 student visa status enrollment rules for summer and fall 2020. Your enrollment times for Summer 2020 and fall 2020 enrollment are in your Student Center.   

COVID-19 continues to present rapid updates from campus and the federal government. The guidance below is the most accurate information we have at this time. Frequently review the campus and ISS COVID-19 webpages for updates.

Summer 2020 Enrollment 

Summer instruction is online. Current COVID-19 government guidance allows you to enroll in only online classes and continue to maintain your valid F-1/J-1 student visa status. You should keep your current I-20/DS-2019 valid. Summer enrollment is generally option 

Summer enrollment is required by your student immigration status if: 

  • You will complete your academic program 
  • You seek CPT employment authorization  

Fall 2020 Enrollment 

Fall instruction plans to be face-to-face. Regular immigration rules apply to fall 2020. You can review these rules below. Current COVID-19 government guidance allows you to enroll in only online classes and maintain your valid F-1/J-1 student visa status only if campus announces online instruction and the temporary change to instruction is reported to the government.  

Full-time Enrollment

To maintain your F1/J1 status, you must enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. Please review our website for your full-time enrollment requirements. 

Final Semester Enrollment

You may apply for a Reduced Course Load for your final semester. This form requires a recommendation from your academic/faculty advisor. Please plan to discuss your academic status with your academic/faculty advisor to ensure you are on track to graduate. If you are completing your final semester over the summer within the U.S., you should complete this form.

Please apply for the Reduced Course Load through Terra Dotta before the start of the semester.

If you apply for a reduced course load, your I20 will be updated. Please take this into consideration if you have international travel plans. You should always travel with your most current I-20.

On-campus courses

You must be enrolled in on-campus courses in your final semester. . These courses, with a completion date into the future of most UW-Madison courses, may put your immigration status in jeopardy.

If you will complete your degree requirements this semester, you are not eligible to continue enrollment with your current I-20. You will need to take action to maintain your status. Please review the program completion webpage for guidance and consult with an ISS advisor.

Online Enrollment

For F-1 students: 

3 online credit hours can count toward your full-time enrollment requirement.

For undergraduate students:Generally, you must be enrolled a minimum of 9 on-campus credit hours, and 3 or more can be online. *
For graduate students: Generally, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 on-campus credit hours, and the rest can be online. *
* There may be exceptions to this if you have an approved reduced course load. 

For J-1 students:  

You need to meet your full-time enrollment requirement with on-campus courses. You may be able to take online courses in addition to your full-time enrollment requirement. You are responsible for checking with your program sponsor for permission to enroll in online courses.  

Full-time online enrollment is allowed for current UW-Madison students for spring and summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Courses from other institutions
You need special permission from ISS to take courses at another US institution if you want to count those credits toward your minimum full-time enrollment requirement. Courses from UW Colleges or UW Extension Independent Learning are not recommended for students in their final semester. If you have questions about this recommendation, please make an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

Terra Dotta
Along with making appointments with advisors, you can use Terra Dotta to submit immigration update requests to our office online. 

Please review the Current Students section of the ISS website for answers to many common student questions.

We wish you the best as you work toward the end of the fall semester.

Best regards,

International Student Services
Student Affairs
University of Wisconsin-Madison
217 Red Gym l 716 Langdon Street l Madison, WI 53706 l 608-262-2044