Enrollment

Full-time Enrollment for Immigration Purposes

 

Undergraduate Enrollment

Semester Enrollment Hours
Fall & Spring:

12 hours minimum with at least 9 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 12-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023. 

J-1 exchange students enroll pursuant to the terms of the university agreement or sponsor requirements.

Summer:

Continuing FSU students, except those beginning a new FSU degree in the summer: Summer is the annual vacation and immigration regulations do not require enrollment. A continuing FSU student may enroll in all online classes during the summer. Some academic programs, scholarships, or departments may have other enrollment requirements.

New F-1 students (including students transferring to FSU and FSU students beginning a new degree program in the summer): 

  • Beginning Summer A/C: 12 credits with at least 9 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 12-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.
  • Beginning Summer B: 6 credits with at least 3 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 6-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.

J-1 exchange students enroll pursuant to the terms of the university agreement or sponsor requirements.

Final Semester:

 

Credit Requirement: Immigration regulations allow a student to enroll in only the number of credits required for completion of the degree. For immigration purposes, enrollment in a final term cannot be 0 credits only. If enrolling in a 0-credit course in the final semester, a student must also enroll in at least one course required for the completion of their degree.

Online enrollment: A student may not have a schedule that is fully online, and only one class required for completion of the degree can be online. A 0-credit class would not satisfy the in-person requirement. Only those students who were actively enrolled as an F-1 student at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status may enroll in a schedule that is fully online for their final semester. Students graduating after Summer, 2023 should plan to adhere to normal in-person enrollment requirements, regardless of when their F-1 status began, as COVID exceptions extend only through Summer, 2023.

Required Form/I-20 Update: Graduating students must complete and submit the Final Term Form in Nole Start (submit no later than 2 weeks into the final semester). The CGE will shorten the I-20 to reflect the correct program completion date if the I-20 shows a completion date beyond the current semester.


Graduate Enrollment

Semester Enrollment Hours

Fall & Spring:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Master/Specialist/Law

F-1 students: 9 credit hours minimum with at least 6 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 9-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.*

After completing all course requirements for the program and a minimum of 6 thesis credits, a student may be eligible to register for fewer than 9 hours. Students should consult with their academic advisor/major professor and their department’s graduate coordinator for instructions and enrollment expectations. If appointed as a graduate assistant, 9 credits (full-time enrollment) is required.

*An academic program, department, scholarship (such as the Latin America and Caribbean Scholarship), exchange agreement, or sponsoring agency may require more credit hours than the minimum listed above. Students with limited scholarship funding may need to carefully plan coursework to fit within the time frame allotted or limits imposed by their scholarship.

J-1 students: Generally no online enrollment is permitted as part of the required 9-credit full course load, but additional credit hours above the full course load may be online. J-1 students must consult with their immigration sponsor regarding requirements and restrictions related to their scholarship and funding.

Doctoral Level

F-1 students: 9 credit hours minimum with at least 6 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 9-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.*

After a doctoral student has advanced to candidacy and has met subsequent core requirements for completion of their program, including completion of 24 dissertation hours, the student may be eligible to register for the university minimum enrollment requirement of two credit hours per semester until completion of the degree. Students should consult with their academic advisor/major professor and their department’s graduate coordinator for instructions and enrollment expectations. If appointed as a graduate assistant, 9 credits minimum (full-time enrollment) is required.

*An academic program, department, scholarship (such as the Latin America and Caribbean Scholarship), exchange agreement, or sponsoring agency may require more credit hours than the minimum listed above. Students with limited scholarship funding may need to carefully plan coursework to fit within the time frame allotted or limits imposed by their scholarship.

J-1 students: Generally no online enrollment is permitted as part of the required 9-credit full course load, but additional credit hours above the full course load may be online. J-1 students must consult with their immigration sponsor regarding requirements and restrictions related to their scholarship and funding.

Summer:

Continuing FSU students, except those beginning a new FSU degree in the summer: Summer is the annual vacation and no enrollment is required for immigration purposes. (FSU requires enrollment for students with graduate assistantships. Students working on their thesis or dissertation should consult with their graduate coordinator about FSU continuous enrollment requirements.) A continuing FSU student may enroll in all online classes during the summer.

New F-1 students (including students transferring to FSU and FSU students beginning a new degree program in the summer):

  • Beginning Summer A/C: 9 credits with at least 6 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 9-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.*
  • Beginning Summer B: 6 credits with at least 3 credits of in-person (not online or virtual) classes out of the 6-credit minimum enrollment. F-1 students who were actively enrolled in F-1 status at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status are exempt from the online credit limit and may enroll in a schedule that is partially or fully online through Summer, 2023. All students must meet the normal in-person requirements as of Fall, 2023.* 

*An academic program, department, scholarship (such as the Latin America and Caribbean Scholarship), exchange agreement, or sponsoring agency may require more credit hours than the minimum listed above. Students with limited scholarship funding may need to carefully plan coursework to fit within the time frame allotted or limits imposed by their scholarship.

Final Semester: 

 

Credit Requirement: Immigration regulations allow a student to enroll in only the number of credits required for completion of the degree, however a graduate assistantship, program, or scholarship may require additional enrollment. For immigration purposes, enrollment in a final term cannot consist of 0 credits only. Students completing a thesis or dissertation must register for at least the university minimum enrollment requirement of two credit hours. Students enrolled in a program that includes a 0-credit requirement must complete the requirement (e.g. comprehensive exam, project defense) in the last semester in which they are enrolled in courses required for completion of the degree. Students who do not complete the 0-credit requirement in the final term of course work may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training while completing the final requirement (e.g. exam or project defense) or may complete the requirement from their home country. A student in this situation should talk to their CGE advisor. 

Online enrollment: A student may not have a schedule that is fully online, and only one class required for completion of the degree can be online. A 0-credit class would not satisfy the in-person requirement. Only those students who were actively enrolled as an F-1 student at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020 and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status may enroll in a schedule that is fully online for their final semester. Students graduating after Summer, 2023 should plan to adhere to normal in-person enrollment requirements, regardless of when their F-1 status began, as COVID exceptions extend only through Summer, 2023.

Required Form/I-20 Update: Graduating students must complete and submit the Final Term Form in Nole Start (submit no later than 2 weeks into final semester). The CGE will shorten the I-20 to reflect the correct program completion date if the I-20 shows a completion date beyond the current semester.


Requesting a Reduced Course Load

Students in F-1 status must receive authorization from a CGE advisor before dropping below or withdrawing and falling below enrollment requirements.

Immigration regulations permit F-1 students to request authorization to reduce their course load below the levels stated above for the following reasons:

  1. Initial difficulty with English language or reading requirements
  2. Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods
  3. Improper course level placement
  4. Medical condition, with documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist.

Students apply for a reduced course load by completing one of the forms below and uploading it in Nole Start. Students should talk to their CGE advisor if they have questions.

Students in J-1 status must receive authorization for a reduced course load from the immigration sponsor listed in box 2 of their DS-2019 form. If the sponsor is not FSU, the Exchange Visitor Advisor at the CGE must also receive the sponsor’s authorization before signing a drop/add form.

Students in J-1 status may be eligible for a reduced course load authorization for only the following reasons:

  1. A bona fide academic reason, as documented by the student’s academic advisor (such as improper course placement);
  2. A medical reason as documented by a licensed U.S. physician or psychologist; or
  3. Final term

Drop/Add & Withdrawals

Registered students may add or drop a course during the drop/add period in the first week of classes, but must maintain a full course load.

To drop or add a class after the drop/add period ends, contact your academic department for instructions. Talk to your CGE advisor before initiating a drop or withdrawal that would reduce your  enrollment below full time. 

NOTE: You may still be required to pay for any classes you drop after the drop/add period ends.

If you wish to withdraw from ALL classes for the semester, please speak with your assigned international student advisor immediately. If your proposal to withdraw is due to a mental or physical health issue for which you have not sought assistance, please know that University Health Services and the Counseling & Psychological Services at FSU are available to students in need.

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