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Enrollment Requirements

Definitions

Full Course of Study. In your initial semester of study and every semester thereafter, except for vacations, you are required to 1) register for a full course of study and 2) make normal progress toward the completion of your educational objective. Note: Full-time registration”, “full-time enrollment and “full course load” are synonymous with “Full Course of Study”.

Undergraduate student. A student fully engaged in an undergraduate program. If you are still taking IEP courses, you are not considered an undergraduate student for enrollment reporting purposes.

Graduate student. A student fully engaged in a graduate program. If you are still taking IEP courses, you are not considered a graduate student for enrollment reporting purposes.

Intensive English Program (IEP) student. A student taking any number of IEP courses. Status. Your status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant student.

SEVIS. SEVIS is a web-accessible database that collects, tracks, and monitors information regarding exchange visitors, international students and scholars who enter the U.S. on F, M or J visas. SEVIS is managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Termination. The termination of a SEVIS record invalidates your F-1 status. Terminations are a result of a status violation(s).

Full Course of Study

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 (see UD’s academic calendar), your SEVIS record will be terminated.
  • The table below lists the minimum enrollment for the three primary categories of students at the University of Dayton:
    Undergraduate students 12 credit hours
    Graduate students 6 credits (exceptions: 9 credits for Psychology CLP, EXP, PSY majors; 12 credits for Law J.D.)
    Full-time IEP students You will be registered for a full course load by IEP
    Part-time IEP students You must work with IEP to ensure that your mix of IEP and academic classes meet the full-time minimum for your classification
  • Courses that you visit or audit do not count towards full-time enrollment for immigration purposes.
  • Only a maximum of 3 credit hours of online/distance learning courses may be counted toward the full-time requirement. In your final term, an online/distance learning course cannot be the only class.

Special note on online/distance learning courses: A maximum of 3 credit hours of online/distance learning classes per semester may be counted toward the full course of study requirement. An online or distance education course is a course that is offered principally through the use of an electronic medium. If the F-1 student's course of study is in a language study program, no online or distance education classes may be considered to count toward classroom hours or credit.

Example: An undergraduate student takes 6 credits of traditional courses and 6 credits of online/distance education courses. In this example, only 9 credits (6 credits of traditional classes + 3 credits of online/distance education course) may be counted toward the full course of study. Subsequently, the student is considered less than full time, a violation of the full course of study requirement and cause for termination.

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.