Enrollment is vital to maintain F-1 and J-1 status
Visa holders are responsible for meeting course enrollment requirements.
- Undergraduates must enroll in 12 credit hours
- Graduates must enroll in 9 credit hours
Less Than Full-Time Enrollment
You must obtain approval before you drop your course.
Graduate students must be enrolled in 9 credit hours. Dissertators are considered full-time if enrolled for 3 credit hours. If you are enrolled in fewer credit hours, complete and submit the Graduate Student Full Time Equivalency Form to International Student and Scholar Services.
Undergraduates students must be enrolled in 12 credit hours. For any semester in which you are enrolled less than full-time, complete and submit the Undergraduate Student Full Time Enrollment Exemption Request Form to International Student and Scholar Services.
Completed forms must be submitted and approved by International Student & Scholar Services. Do not drop your class until you have picked up a copy of the approval in Marquis Hall room 110. All withdrawals must be processed by the student according to university procedures through the Registrar’s office.
Full-Time Enrollment is required during each Fall and Spring Semester. You are also required to enroll full-time in the summer if it is your first or last semester of enrollment at UNT. If you are continuing your required enrollment from a Spring to Fall semester, you are not required to enroll in Summer classes.
The code of Federal Regulations allows the following for approval to maintain status for less than full-time enrollment:
Only one semester per degree allowed in this category. Minimum 6 credits allowed.
- Initial difficulties with the English language, or initial difficulties with reading requirements. (first semester only)
- Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods (first semester only)
- Improper course level placement
You are only allowed one final semester per degree.
- Completing all degree requirements this semester.
Maximum one year aggregate allowed.
- Medical condition
- Medical documentation signed by your licensed medical doctor, licensed doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist, containing recommendations concerning your course-load must be attached.
Enrollment at UNT and another institution simultaneously.
This information regarding concurrent enrollment is only in reference to your immigration status only. The decision to concurrently enroll at another school may impact many areas of your UNT studies. Please make sure that you understand what impacts concurrent enrollment may have on your enrollment at UNT prior to concurrently enrolling. Please also be aware that some scholarship awards require full-time enrollment at UNT and verification of enrollment requirements should be completed before you concurrently enroll at another school. Please contact each department where you receive a scholarship award to determine if part-time enrollment at UNT may impact your scholarship(s).
How to Obtain Approval
- Check with your department to ensure that your credits will transfer to UNT.
- Complete the Concurrent Enrollment Letter Request Form and submit to International Student and Scholar Services. ISSS will provide a concurrent enrollment letter for you to submit to the other institution.
- As soon as you have registered at the other institution, you must provide proof of registration and credit hours to International Student and Scholar Services. You must complete this step by the 12th day of class at UNT.
- Once you have completed classes at the other institution, submit a copy of your grade report to International Student and Scholar Services.
- Don’t forget to send a transcript to the UNT Registrar’s Office to get your credits officially transferred!
With the response to COVID-19 and the migration of many classes to online instruction, it is important to note that we have received guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State that F-1 and J-1 students who had valid status in Spring 2020 will not have negative immigration consequences for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters while completing courses via online instruction. If you are a newly admitted student who plans to enter the U.S. for Spring 2021, you are required to enroll in at least one on campus class for Spring 2021.
To clarify, F-1 and J-1 students will remain in status while studying on-line and remotely while in the United States for the duration of the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters if you were in valid F1 status during Spring and Summer 2020. This means you are not required to depart the U.S. and in fact are encouraged to strongly reconsider plans to do so.
Spring 2021 enrollment will be required for all international students to maintain their F-1 or J-1 student immigration status. We have received communication that the Fall 2020 guidance regarding online enrollment will continue to Spring 2021. Students who entered the U.S. with a new SEVIS ID number in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 must enroll in at least one course that is delievered face-to-face, partially online, or partially remote to fulfill on-campus physical presence requirements.
With the return to standard on-campus course offerings, Fall 2021 rules will return to pre-COVID online enrollment restrictions. Please prepare for Fall 2021 and beyond following the Standard Online Enrollment Restrictions below.
Standard Online Enrollment Restrictions:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations state that a student can only apply one 3-credit online course toward the 12-credit undergraduate requirement or the 9-credit graduate requirement each semester.
If international students register for more than the required 9 or 12 credits, students may take additional online education credits. For example, an undergraduate student taking 18 credits could have nine on-campus and nine online credits, with nine on-campus plus three of the online credits completing the full-time course requirement. The additional six online credits are additional credits beyond the full-time requirement.
If a course has any on-campus requirement, it is not considered an online course:
For F-1 students enrolled in classes for credit or classroom hours, no more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examinations or other purposes integral to completion of the class. An on-line or distance education class is a course that is offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing. If the F-1 student’s course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward a student’s full course of study requirement." 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)
If a student participates in a "physical attendance" activity for an online course, the course is not considered an online course for the purposes of this rule.
Examples of "physical attendance" activities include tests, conferences, presentations, laboratory work, or other class-related activities that takes place on the UNT campus. This activity may be completed individually or as part of a group. This activity that is undertaken by the international student on campus may be an activity that is done online by other students registered in the class.
To learn more, click here. There is a form available at the website. Completed forms must be submitted to International Student and Scholar Services before the 12th class day of the semester.