Maintaining Status

For more information on maintaining status, view the International Student Handbook.

Taking Classes

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 LevelSemesterCredit Hours
Undergraduate Fall/Spring 12
Graduate Fall/Spring 6

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.

If summer is the first semester for an international student, he or she must be enrolled full-time.

Failure to maintain a full-time course load will result in termination of legal status.

Immigration Requirements

Students on an F-1 student 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 major.

2. Take a full-time class load every semester.

3. Maintain insurance coverage following the instructions on the International Student Office insurance page.

4. Make sure the dates on your Form I-20 are current.

5. 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 I-20 with the travel authorization on page three signed by the advisor

4. Evidence of enrollment and financial support

5. A business card from the International Student Office advisor. 


Filing Taxes

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 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.