Undergraduate Students:A full course load for undergraduate students is defined as 12 credit hours or more per semester. Recipients of the Amigo Scholarship must enroll in 15 new credit hours (no repeated courses).
Graduate Students: A full course load for graduate students is defined as 9 credit hours (or 6 credits with an assistantship, authorized by the Office of Graduate Studies - OGS).
No international student may drop below the required number of credits in the Fall and Spring semesters except under extremely limited circumstances that must be authorized in advance by an international student advisor!
Getting a grade of W, WP, or WF in a course means that you officially have dropped that course and that the credit hours for that course will not count toward your full-time requirement, even if you completed all course requirements!
Classes that are taken for a grade of “Audit” also do NOT count toward the full-time requirement.
In addition, ONLY 3 CREDIT HOURS of on-line or distance education courses can be counted toward the minimum full-time requirement. While students are permitted to take more online courses, only 3 credits can be counted toward full-time.
Finally, summer is considered your annual vacation unless you are beginning your studies in summer. If you have questions about these requirements ask an international advisor.
Undergraduate students in their final semester of study may be considered full-time with fewer than 12 credit hours.
In order to qualify, the student's advisor must complete the Certificate of Completion of Formal Course Requirements and the form must be submitted to GEO at the beginning of the semester where the student will enroll for fewer credit hours than listed above.
Graduate students who have completed all coursework and other degree requirements excluding the comprehensive requirement (such as Comprehensive Exam, Thesis or Dissertation) may be considered full- time with fewer credit hours.
In order to qualify, the student's advisor must complete the Certificate of Completion of Formal Course Requirements and the form must be submitted to GEO at the beginning of the semester where the student will enroll for fewer credit hours than listed above. This form must be resubmitted "every Semester" if the student plans to continue to enroll in fewer hours than listed above.
Legally Approved 'Part Time' Excuses
Limited excuses exist for dropping below full-time enrollment as defined below.
All excuses must be authorized in advance by an international student advisor in the Global Education Office (GEO). Students who drop below full-time without being authorized are in violation of their immigration status and must be reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 21 days of the drop below full-time.
The legally permissible part-time excuses and required proof are:
ACADEMIC EXCUSES - One time only during program of study.
Initial difficulties with reading requirements- First year of study only; bring a letter from your professor or instructor recommending that you drop below full-time because of this reason.
Unfamiliarity with American Teaching methods- First year of study only; bring a letter from your professor or instructor recommending that you drop below full-time because of this reason.
Improper course level placement- This means placement in a course for which one does not have the required pre-requisites; bring a letter from your academic advisor recommending that you take less than full-time because of this reason.
MEDICAL EXCUSES- Maximum of 12 months with written doctor's excuse.
Medical reasons- Bring a letter documenting the illness and recommending that you take less than full-time written by a licensed physician or psychologist.