F1 students are required to maintain a certain number of credit hours each semester to stay in status. Undergraduates must enroll in, and complete, 12 credit hours. Graduate students must enroll in, and complete, 6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. You can enroll in addition courses but Immigration is not concerned about these.
Only one online class per semester can be used to maintain status. Once your full course load is achieved (undergraduates 12 credit hours and Graduate 6 credit hours) you can take additional online courses. An online class is a class that doesn’t require you to physically be at the university. Hybrid classes are a mix of online and in-class requirements, so you can take more than one hybrid class. Make sure your academic advisor understands this because it is ultimately your responsibility. If it is your last semester you can not take an online class alone.
Exceptions to the full-time enrollment rule:
- English Language Difficulty or Unfamiliarity with US Teaching methods
- Students can only use this for their first academic semester.
- Improper Course Level
- Students who are placed in a course that was too difficult for that education level and no other classes are available.
- Last Semester before Graduation
- Students can take under 12 credit hours to complete the remaining credit hours they need to graduate.
- Medical Reasons
- Students who are physically or mentally unable to complete a full course load.
- Students need to submit an official letter from the doctor detailing the reason why they can’t complete 12 hours.
To request a reduced course load, fill out the Reduced Enrollment form and submit it to your DSO.