Full Course of Student Requirement
Immigration regulations require that all F-1 students register for and complete a full course of study every term. If you enroll for less than a full course of study, you must have approval from ISSS before the semester begins. If you take less than a full course of study without approval from ISSS, you will lose your legal status.
Minimum Credit Requirements
- Degree Level
- Graduate School Students: 6 credits per semester
- Undergraduate Students: 12 credits per semester
- Non-degree seeking students: 12 credits per semester
- Professional School Students: between 6 and 12 credits, depending on your program
- The University of Minnesota also has a 13 credit policy per semester for undergraduate degree-seeking students. that requires undergraduate students to pay a flat tuition rate for 13 credits each semester. This is a separate policy and not the same as the ISSS full course of study requirement.
- Summer Session Enrollment:
- Continuing students are not required to enroll during summer, and there is no full course of study minimum for the summer session.
- Students admitted to begin a program in the summer MUST enroll full-time during the summer of admission.
- Thesis credits DO count toward your full course of study requirement.
- Full Time Equivalent (FTE) courses (8444 for PhD and 8333 for Master’s students) satisfy the full course requirement. If you are taking the FTE course, you do NOT need to request a Reduced Course Load.
- Grad0999 enrollment does NOT satisfy the full course requirement, so students enrolling in Grad0999 must request a Reduced Course Load.
- Online and Distance Learning (ODL) courses are limited for F-1 students. Students with F-1 status may count a maximum of 1 ODL course OR 3 ODL credits per semester toward their full course requirement.
- Audited courses do NOT count toward your full course of study requirement, as they are not credit bearing.
Enroll for all of your credits at the beginning of the term. If you split your enrollment between the first and second half of the semester, you must enroll for ALL courses at the beginning of the term.
If your department will enroll you, make sure your enrollment occurs before the drop/add deadline of the term. If your department does not enroll you before the deadline, YOU will lose your legal status. You are responsible for your enrollment.
International students are expected to complete all courses, including those taken online, during the semester for which they are registered. Extended-term courses and incomplete courses do not count toward the full course of study credit minimum in any semester other than the one in which you registered for it, as indicated by your transcript.