Maintaining Your Status
Full Course of Study
Undergraduate Students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours (only 3 credit hours can be online) while Graduate Students must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours (only 3 credit hours can be online).
- If an Undergraduate is taking 15 hours or more, 9 hours must be in-person and 6 hours or more can be online. The 9 credit hours (out of 12 minimum) must always be in-person!
- If an Graduate is taking 12 hours or more, 6 hours must be in-person and 6 hours or more can be online. The 6 credit hours (out of 9 minimum) must always be in-person!
Students must be enrolled in the majority of their classes at the USF campus listed on their SEVIS I-20.
Reduced Course Load
International students on F-1 and J-1 visas are required by US immigration regulations to remain enrolled full-time during Fall and Spring semesters.
Students who do not intend to take a full course load must get prior approval from IS before registering for less than full-time hours or dropping below full-time. Students who qualify for a reduced course load should complete the Reduced Course Load Request Form.
Acceptable reasons for a reduced course load:
- Completion of Program Final Semester of study
- Unfamiliarity with US teaching methods in the first semester of study in the USA
- Difficulty with English language in the first semester of study in the USA
- Improper course level placement due to Department/Advisor ERROR
- Medical condition that restricts eligibility to attend classes and pursue full-time coursework
- Cross Enrollment/Dual Enrollment
Even with the reduced course load approval, students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits at USF (except for a medical condition/ or taking final semester).
Requests must be submitted by the first week of classes for the requested semester.
F-1 and J-1 students are advised to read all directions on the Reduced Course Load Request Form and provide the required documentation.
Students who engage in full-time curricular practical training (CPT) or full-time optional practical training (OPT) are not required to be registered full-time and do not need to complete the form.
Graduate students who have completed all course work and are registered for ONLY thesis or dissertation hours are considered full-time and do not need to complete the form.
In general, students authorized for a reduced course load are not eligible for on-campus employment unless the reduced course load is for completion of the degree in the final semester or the student is cross enrolled.
Enroll full-time during Fall and Spring Semesters:
- 12 credit hours for undergraduates
- 9 credit hours for graduate students
- If graduating in the Summer semester you must be enrolled in a least one credit hour of a face-to-face course.