Full-Time Enrollment Requirement

Federal Immigration Regulations require F-1 and J-1 students to maintain full-time normative enrollment and make the progress required to complete their studies by the end date listed on the immigration document. Students who are not enrolled full time by the end of each add/drop period violate their student immigration status. OGS is committed to working closely with Schools, Departments, students, and the Registrar to make sure all students enroll in a full courseload each term.

Please contact your program’s dedicated IS Advisor if you know students have a hold on their registration, if they are working on adding into a class, if they are struggling with financial issues that make registration impossible, or if they have personal issues and are asking to take less than a full-time courseload.

Please note the following: 

  • Audited classes do not count towards the calculation of full-time status; 
  • Pass-fail classes count towards the calculation of full-time status; 
  • Online/hybrid courses have special restrictions. F-1 students may enroll in only one, 3-credit online/hybrid course per semester to count toward the normative, full-time courseload. J-1 students may not count any online/hybrid courses toward full-time enrollment and must receive OGS approval to enroll in any online/hybrid courses. 

The U.S. government requires undergraduate students to take a minimum of 12 credits each semester, fall and spring. A summer break from required study is permissible when the student expects to return to full-time study the following fall semester. We realize that to complete their studies within 4 years, Georgetown undergrads will be required to take additional credits during the semester or over the summer. We rely heavily on undergraduate deans and academic advisors to guide these students and monitor their progress toward degree completion with the 4-year period anticipated by the U.S. government.

For graduate students, the full-time enrollment requirement depends on the program’s structure and the normative credit progression on file with the graduate school of record. For example, the M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a two-semester program requiring 15 credits per term. In contrast, the M.A. in Arab studies is a two-year program, requiring only 9 credits each semester. Doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy are full time at zero credits as long as they are enrolled in dissertation research.

Students enrolled in non-degree/credit bearing programs must take the courseload associated with the program’s education level. For example, post-bac certificate students are required to take 12 credits per term. Students enrolled in non-degree/non-credit programs must undertake a minimum requirement of 18 classroom or clock hours of instruction.

Please contact the program’s dedicated IS Advisor with any questions or concerns regarding full-time enrollment requirements.