Office of International Services


Enrollment Requirements for International Students


International students in F-1 or J-1 status are legally required to maintain full-time enrollment throughout their program, uphold good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above for graduate students, 2.0 or above for undergraduate students) and make normal academic progress toward their degree objective. International students who complete all academic program requirements and/or meet Graduate School no-registration deadlines are considered to have completed their program for visa purposes and are neither required, nor permitted (by visa standards), to enroll for an additional semester.

OIS does not determine the full-time / part-time enrollment status for international students and the standards for determining enrollment levels do not differ between domestic and international students. Instead, OIS adheres to the policies of the Graduate School when determining if an F-1 or J-1 student is enrolled full-time / part-time. OIS is only involved when the student is determined to be less-than-full-time.

Reduced Course Load
There are certain exceptions to full time enrollment requirements when reduced course loads can be authorized in SEVIS. Unauthorized drop in course-load, withdrawal, or part-time enrollment is a reportable visa violation and OIS is required by law to terminate the SEVIS record of students who fail to maintain full-time enrollment.

Departmental Responsibility:

Please inform OIS of any deviation, question, or problem regarding less than full-time enrollment before a student’s registration is adjusted. Especially in the case of graduate students, the Director of Graduate Programs will be central to understanding and explaining the Graduate School enrollment policies and requirements as they pertain to the student's degree program.


Change of Curriculum / Change in Level

Changes in major and level require updating in SEVIS and must be completed concurrently with the change in University records. A new Form I-20 (DS-2019 for J-1 students) must be issued to reflect the new major and new program end date.  For immigration purposes, the DGP or Academic Advisor must certify the acceptance of the student into the new program and must indicate the expected date of degree completion on the CIC/CIL form, so OIS can accurately certify the changes in the student’s SEVIS record.
Please note: Students who change their thesis options within the same major do NOT need to submit change in curriculum paperwork to OIS. This does not constitute a change in curriculum for SEVIS purposes and as such, a student's I-20/DS-2019 will not be updated.


Program Extension

If a student requires additional time to complete their academic program, they should request a Program Extension well in advance (at least 3 weeks) of the end date on their I-20 or DS-2019. The DGP/Academic Advisor should certify the reason for the delay and the expected new completion date on the Program Extension form, so OIS can accurately assess each situation and update the student’s immigration record accordingly. The reason for a program extension needs to be either of an academic nature or be out of medical necessity/extenuating circumstances. The reason can never be employment related. The student will receive a new Form I-20/DS-2019 to reflect the extension.
Please note: Program extensions are not possible if a student has filed an RCL request during the semester OR if the program end date on the I-20 has already passed.


For background information on Leave of Absence or  Withdrawal Requests, please refer to the student sections of our website.