Registering for spring online classes? Be sure you are maintaining status when doing so…
You have many things to consider when choosing classes. Will the course you want fit into your degree requirement? Will your course load allow you enough time to maintain a healthy balance between your studies and personal life? Will your course schedule prevent you from maintaining your status?
International students are required to maintain a full course of study each semester in order to maintain their visa status. A full course of study is defined as 12 hours per semester for undergraduates and 9 hours per semester for graduates. For Law students, a full course of study is 10 hours per semester.
Online courses generally count toward the fulltime enrollment total, but with limitation. Only 3 credit hours from an online course may be counted toward the full time enrollment requirement. That means if you’re an undergraduate student and taking only 12 credit hours for the term, only 3 of those credits can be in online courses. As such, undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled in 9 credit hours and 6 credit hours of in-person courses, respectively. However, a mixed-method course (those taught both online and in-person) will count as an in-person course if the course is at least 50% taught in a classroom.
Apply what you’ve learned:
Scenario 1: As a graduate student, Adamma is registered for 9 hours in her program, 3 hours of which are online. Is Adamma maintaining status?
Answer 1: Yes, Adamma is maintaining status. She in enrolled full-time for her education level and a majority of her courses are being taken in a traditional classroom setting.
Scenario 2: Esmail is an undergraduate student registered for 15 credit hours this semester. Of those, 6 credit hours are online, and 9 credit hours are in person. Is Esmail maintaining his status?
Answer 2: Yes, because the full-time enrollment requirement only applies to the first 12 (undergraduate) or 9 (graduate) credit hours. So, though Esmail is taking 6 credit hours online, he is maintaining his status by taking at least 9 credit hours in person.
Scenario 3: Seojun is an undergraduate student and registers for 15 credit hours for the spring semester. He is taking 9 credit hours online and 6 credit hours in traditional classroom based courses. Is Seojun maintaining status?
Answer 3: No, Seojun is not maintaining status because he has more than 3 credit hours of online enrollment that he is trying to count toward his 12 credit hour minimum to maintain his status.
Now that you are more familiar with the rules, you can more confidently apply them to your spring registration. Yet, when you have questions or concerns about how something will possibly affect your status, please remember the International Office is here to help. You can either email your question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule an appointment to meet with an international advisor.