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).

Students must be enrolled in the majority of their classes at the USF campus listed on their SEVIS I-20.

Reduced Course Load 

Reduced Course Load (RCL) E-Form

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 

Guidelines

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.

Enrollment

Enroll full-time during Fall and Spring Semesters:

  • 12 credit hours for undergraduates
  • 9 credit hours for graduate students

Please Note

  • Enroll in only 3 credit hours of on-line courses to count toward your full time requirement during Fall and Spring Semesters.
  • If graduating in the Summer semester you must be enrolled in a least one credit hour of a face-to-face course.