International students are required by immigration regulations to maintain a full-time course of study. The exception to this rule is the summer semester when students can choose to take a break or fewer credit hours.
Full course of study:
|Degree Level||Semester||Credit Hours|
Undergraduate students must have a minimum of 9 face-to-face credit hours. Graduate students must have a minimum of 3 face-to-face credit hours.
Failure to maintain a full-time course load will result in termination of legal status.
Students on a J-1 exchange visitor visa must do the following to maintain legal non-immigrant status:
1. Notify the International Student Office of any changes in address, financial support, or period of study.
2. Take a full-time class load every semester.
3. Maintain insurance coverage following the instructions on the International Student Office insurance page.
4. Only work with the authorization of the International Student Office.
Vacation and Travel
International students are eligible to take the summer semester off if they have attended full-time in the spring and plan to return in the fall. There are also breaks between terms and a week vacation in the spring.
International students who plan to travel while on break or vacation need the following documents:
1. Valid passport
2. Valid visa
3. Valid Form DS-2019 with the travel authorization signed by the advisor
4. Evidence of enrollment and financial support
5. A business card from the International Student Office advisor.
International students are required to file taxes even if no income was generated in the U.S. Failure to do so can be grounds for denial of future immigration requests. Every March, the International Student Office holds a tax preparation workshop. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the workshop.
International students who have no income to report can use the Form 8843 to file their tax report.
For information on filing taxes as an international student see the IRS Foreign Students and Scholars site.