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Enrollment Requirements for International Students

International students studying in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa must follow the immigration regulations concerning full-time enrollment.

Full-time Enrollment

  • F-1/J-1 international students must enroll full-time for three out of four quarters (or two semesters).
  • At DU, full-time for undergraduate students is 12 credits. Full-time for graduate students is 8 credits.

Vacation Term

  • F-1/J-1 international students may have one vacation term per year. Summer quarter is automatically be considered a vacation term.
  • After being enrolled for one academic year, the student may choose to take a vacation quarter other than summer. They may ask permission from ISSS by applying for a Non-Summer Vacation Term. Typically a Non-Summer Vacation Term means the student is enrolled in 0 credits. However, it is possible for a student to still enroll in credits during a Non-Summer Vacation Term. If the student is authorized for a vacation term and is enrolled in fewer credits than the minimum for full-time, it will be reported as a vacation term to SEVIS.

Online Courses

  • Each term, F-1/J-1 international students may have up to three online credits or one online course count toward the full-time enrollment requirement.

Concurrent Enrollment

  • For immigration purposes, F-1/J-1 international students may enroll concurrently at another institution if the combined enrollment amounts to a full-time course of study.   In addition to other DU requirements, approval for concurrent enrollment is needed from ISSS.

Less Than Full-time Enrollment

  • F-1/J-1 international students may be eligible to be authorized to be enrolled for less than full-time through ISSS. The students must have authorization from ISSS BEFORE dropping below full-time. International students cannot simply drop a class due to academic performance, financial concerns, or personal reasons. There are specific criteria to meet for an international student to be enrolled less than full-time. They may receive permission to drop below full-time for the following reasons:

Academic Reason

    • - Initial difficulty with English Language
    • - Initial difficulty with reading requirements
    • - Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
    • - Improper course level

Note: May be used only once per degree level. Student must still be enrolled a minimum of half-time credits.

Medical Reason

    • - Medical documentation is required.
    • - Students are eligible for up to 12 months total during degree.

Final term

  • In a student's final quarter, if the student has fewer credits remaining than is needed for full-time enrollment, he may request to be less than full-time due to being the final term.

In order to be authorized to be enrolled for less than full-time, the student must submit the Less Than Full-Time Enrollment Form to ISSS. Section B of this form needs to be completed by an academic advisor. The academic advisor should mark the appropriate reason. If none of the reasons work, then the academic advisor can choose to not sign the form or to call ISSS for any questions about the student's particular situation. The student must receive authorization from ISSS before dropping below full-time. For F-1 students, the authorization will be written on page three of the student's I-20 (immigration document).