Maintaining Status

Full-Time Credit Requirement

F-1 and J-1 student immigration status require full-time enrollment each semester of study. Full-time enrollment ensures that students comply with Federal Immigration Regulations and make the progress needed to complete their studies by the end date listed on the immigration document.

Students who are not full-time by the end of the add/drop period violate their international students status. OGS is committed to working closely with departments, students and the Registrar to make sure that all students enroll in a full courseload each term.

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 let us know.

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; 
  • There are special regulations governing enrollment in online coursework. Please see here for additional information. 

Undergraduate Students -- 12 credits per Term

The U.S. Government requires that undergraduate students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits each semester, fall and spring.  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.  However, we rely heavily on the guidance these students are given by undergraduate deans and academic advisors who are monitoring their progress toward degree. 

Graduate Students -- normative credit requirement

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 are not allowed to drop below the normative credit load on file with the Graduate School of record and the Office of Global Services without prior authorization in their SEVIS record. 

Non-Degree Programs

Students enrolled in non-degree/credit bearing programs must take the courseload associate with the level of education.  For example:  Fellows in Foreign Service are required to take 9 credits per semester at the graduate level and post-bac pre-med 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 an IS advisor with any questions or concerns regarding full-time enrollment requirements.