Full Time Status

Maintaining full-time student immigration status and guidelines for registration:

If Summer is your first semester of study at Syracuse University, you must register for a minimum of 6 credits or otherwise be considered a full-time student for immigration purposes.

If Summer is your last semester of study at Syracuse University, you must register for a minimum of GRD 998 (0 credits for Degree in Progress for SU graduate students) or 1 credit (SU undergraduate students and graduate students) for immigration purposes.

Undergraduate Students

Which one of the following fits your circumstance?

  1. A student intending to enroll for 12 or more credits.
  2. A student intending to enroll for fewer than 12 credits in his/her last semester.

If (1), then Register for 12 credits or more in the Fall and/or Spring semester

If (2), then register for fewer than 12 credits and file an SU Last Semester Memo with the Slutzker Center or meet with a Slutzker Center International Student Advisor.

Graduate Students

Which one of the following fits your circumstance?

  1. A student intending to enroll for 9 or more credits.
  2. A student intending to enroll for fewer than 9 credits.
  3. A student writing one's Thesis or Dissertation.
  4. A student with an assistantship (TA, RA, or GA).

If (1), then register for 9 credits or more credits.

If (2), then register for fewer than 9 credits AND file a Certification of Full-Time Status with the Registrar's office.

If the semester that you cannot file the Certification is or will be your last semester of study to complete your degree at Syracuse University, file an SU Last Semester Memo with the Slutzker Center.

If (3), then register for GRD 998 (0 credits for Degree in Progress) AND complete a Certification of Full-Time Status with the Registrar's office.

If (4), then register for a minimum of GRD 998 (0 credits for Degree in Progress). This action + the Grad Award will make you a full-time student.

Online Courses and Full-Time Status

NOTE: For Syracuse University F-1 students, a full-time course load is required during the Fall and Spring semesters. Full time enrollment means Graduate students must enroll for at least 9 credits every semester. Undergraduate students must register for at least 12 credits every semester.   Students are not required to enroll in courses during the Summer.  However, if Summer session is your first semester then you must maintain full time enrollment of at least 6 credits for that summer session.

Under Federal Immigration Rules, to maintain F-1 status, no more than 3 online credits per semester may count towards the "full course of study" requirement.  For example, a graduate student required to register for 9 credits per semester to maintain full time status can take only 3 of those credits through an on-line class each semester - 6 credits must be live, in classroom courses.

However, an F-1 student can take as many on-line or distance education as they wish (with SCIS's approval) during the Summer or over Winter break.

If it is your last semester and fewer than 12 credits are required to graduate for undergrads and 9 credits for grads; it is acceptable to carry only those credits required to complete your degree.  If a student needs less than a full course load in the final semester to finish his/her degree, the course(s) cannot be taken solely online or as distance education.  You must be enrolled in a live, in classroom course during your last semester.

Students considering on-line courses or courses at a different institution should first discuss the plan with an SCIS advisor.  It is necessary to maintain valid F-1 status at all times.