Office of the University Registrar

November 3, 2020

F-1 Full-Time Registration Requirement

F-1 status requires you to be a full-time student. Full-time enrollment is:

  • 12 credits for undergraduate students
  • 10 credits for graduate students

You can only drop below full-time registration under certain circumstances. The exceptions are:

  • annual vacation quarter (allowed after three consecutive full-time quarters–usually summer, but not always)
  • medical reason (requires letter from doctor and preapproval from ISS)
  • specific academic reasons (requires letter from academic adviser and preapproval from ISS)
  • final quarter

Consult an ISS adviser if you are considering dropping below full-time. You do not want to accidentally violate your student visa status.

Online Classes

Graphic of F-1 online class credit limit

F-1 online class credit limit

The government has set a limit on how much online study an F-1 student can take each quarter that counts to their full-time courseload.

Their rule states the maximum is 1 online class per quarter. After an F-1 student meets the full-time enrollment requirement by balancing enough other in-person classes against the 1 online class to equal full-time, they can choose to add as many extra online classes as they want.