Full Time Study Requirement

International students are required to take a minimum amount of credits or participate in a minimum amount of classroom instruction or lab hours to maintain their F-1 or J-1 status. The following are general guidelines for both degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students:

  • For programs offering credit, undergraduate students must take a minimum of 12 credits in the fall and spring semesters; graduate students must take at least nine credits in the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, for both undergraduates and graduates, the minimum requirement is one credit per week.  
  • For non-degree programs, that do not offer credit, the minimum requirement for full time study is 18 clock hours if mostly classroom work and 22 clock hours per week if mostly laboratory work. 
  • Some non-degree programs can offer a combination of credit and non-credit study. An example might be a program with both a language education component (not for credit) and academic course work (for credit). In these cases, full time study is calculated as a percentage, adding up to 100 percent.
    • For undergraduates, each credit is worth 8.333 percent; each hour of classroom instruction if 5.555 percent; and each hour of laboratory work is 4.545 percent. Using these figures, you will see that a combined program of nine clock hours of instruction and six credits of academic coursework will equal 100 percent.
    • For graduates, each credit is worth 11.1 percent of the 100 percent total; each hour of classroom instruction if 5.555 percent; and each hour of laboratory work is 4.545 percent. Using these figures, you will see that a combined program of six clock hours of instruction and six credits of academic coursework will equal 100 percent.