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Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements

F-1 students must abide by strict enrollment guidelines in order to maintain their lawful status. The following section describes the specific enrollment requirements of F-1 students:

  • In your initial semester of study and every semester thereafter, except for vacations, you must be enrolled full-time. There are some exceptions to this rule (see Reducing Your Course Load section for more details).
  • If you are not registered full-time by the drop/add deadline, your SEVIS record will be terminated.
  • The table below lists the minimum enrollment for UD students: 
Undergraduate students 12 credit hours
Graduate students (including those studying in the International Marian Research Institute STL and STD programs) 6 credits (exceptions: 9 credits for Psychology CLP, EXP, PSY majors; 12 credits for Law J.D.)
IEP students You will be registered for a full course load as required by IEP

Actions that may reduce the number of credits that can be counted toward the full-time minimum:

  • Courses that you visit or audit do not count towards full-time enrollment for immigration purposes.
  • Dropping a course reduces your total credit count and therefore could put in jeopardy of violating the full course of study requirement.

Spring 2021 Guidance

Federal guidance for international students will remain the same for the spring term, according to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has yet to issue official guidance but the remarks by the DHS spokeswoman are a strong indication that students should expect the same flexibility as before.

We've adjusted our recommendations for students based on new information. Please read below carefully.

What does this mean for you?

  • If you started your studies in the US in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, you must take at least one credit of face-to-face or blended courses to maintain status.
  • Continuing students who started their studies in the US prior to Summer 2020 may study entirely online but may also choose to take in-person or blended courses. In total, these courses must equal a full courseload -- 12 credits for undergraduates, 6 credits graduate programs.
  • Continuing students who started their studies in the US prior to Summer 2020 but are now outside of the US and unable to return to Dayton must register full-time in online courses to maintain their immigration statuses.
  • New students can come to UD, if they can obtain visas, but cannot be registered entirely online. New students are students who have never studied in the US before. A new student registering for at least one credit of face-to-face or blended courses can maintain his or her immigration status.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I fail a course, will I be considered below the the full-time minimum?

No. It is necessary to distinguish between the meanings of “failing” and “dropping”. Failing means receive a failing grade. Dropping means to forcibly remove a course from your registration record. Failing a course will not take you below the full-time minimum. Dropping a course may potentially take you below the full-time minimum and cause your SEVIS record to be terminated.

The only classes I have left are spread out over several terms. Can I register just for those classes only?

If the only academic requirements you have left are spread out over two terms, for example, you must register for additional courses to bring you up to the full-time requirement. For example, if you are an undergraduate left with two courses, MTH 401 and ART 402, but one course is only available in the Fall and the other only available in the Spring, you could do the following:

Fall Spring
MTH 401 (3 credits) ART 402
XXX 101 (3 credits)
XXX 202 (3 credits)
XXX 303 (3 credits)

Note: the information above is for illustration purposes only.

In this example, the student is left with one class in the final term (your final class cannot be an online/distance education course; if it is, you must supplement that course with a traditional course).

When is the annual vacation?

Students are not required to register for classes in the summer (exception: the student’s I-20 lists a summer start date). F-1 students are considered to be maintaining status even though they are not actually registered for classes. Students electing to take classes will not be subject to the full-time minimum.


International Student and Scholar Services

Rike Center
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469