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International Student and Scholar Services

Visa & Immigration

Enrollment Requirements

You must be fully enrolled each academic quarter, except during the annual vacation term or if ISSS has authorized you to drop below full-time status. Failure to maintain full-time enrollment each quarter for the entire quarter is a violation of your status and may result in the termination of your program. Undergraduate students must enroll in at least 12 hours each quarter. Graduate and Law students must enroll in at least 8 hours each quarter/semester.

Audited and Online Courses

Audited courses do not count towards the full-time enrollment requirement since no course credit is received. You may count one course or 3 credits of online course credit towards the full-time enrollment requirement.

Annual Vacation Term

Most students take the vacation term during summer term. If you will take a non-summer vacation quarter, fill out this form. To ensure you are eligible, you must meet all the below criteria:

  • You must complete three quarters or two semesters of full-time enrollment before you are eligible for a non-summer vacation term
  • You must intend to enroll full-time in the term following the non-summer vacation term
  • You cannot have more than one vacation term in a calendar year
  • Students who begin their studies in summer quarter must enroll full-time in that term.

You are not required to enroll during the vacation term, and you may stay in the United States or travel abroad.

Continuous Enrollment

Graduate students who have completed all required coursework and who are working in thesis or dissertation work may apply for continuous enrollment in order to maintain full-time enrollment.

To request continuous enrollment, students must obtain permission from the academic department and the Office Of Graduate Education. 

Students must register for Continuous Enrollment each quarter through PioneerWeb or the Office of the Registrar.


Immigration regulations permit ISSS to authorize a student to drop below full-time status when medical or certain academic circumstances prevent you from enrolling full-time. In most cases, you must receive authorization from ISSS before dropping below full-time status.

Medical Reasons

An international student advisor may authorize you to drop below full-time status when serious medical circumstances prevent you from enrolling full-time. Medical authorizations require substantiation from the attending physician or psychologist and may be authorized for up to one year per degree level.

Academic Reasons

Based on the recommendation of your academic advisor, an international student advisor may authorize you to drop below full-time status for academic reasons specifically permitted under immigration regulations. These reasons include:

  • Initial difficulties with the English language
  • Difficulties with English reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching practices
  • Improper course level placement
  • Academic authorizations may only be given once per degree level and are usually issued during the first term of study
  • Students who have been in the United States for several quarters are generally ineligible for an academic authorization except in cases of improper course level placement

Final Quarter of Study

An international student advisor may authorize you to drop below full-time status if you are in your final quarter of study and require fewer hours than the minimum full-time enrollment requirement to complete your program.