Registration Requirements

Registration Deadlines Each Semester

The registration deadline for F-1 and J-1 students is thirty (30) days after classes have begun each semester. If a student has not registered by that time, the student's SEVIS record will be automatically terminated and the student will lose their legal status in the U.S. You can check the status of your registration at any time through the ULink system.

Full-time Enrollment Requirements

Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 or J-1 status to be in full-time credit hours each semester.  For immigration purposes, full-time enrollment is defined as:

  • Undergraduate = 12 credit hours
  • Graduate = 9 credit hours

Tip: It is a good idea to register for 3-4 credit hours (generally, one extra course) above full-time status in the event that you need to drop a course; this way you will still be considered in full-time status

Full-time Enrollment & On-line Coursework

Immigration regulations limit the number of online courses a student can count towards the full-time requirement. International students may count only one course or three credit hours of on-line coursework towards the full-time requirement. If the full-time requirement for a semester can be satisfied with three units or one course, the full-time requirement cannot be satisfied with online coursework alone.

Consequences of Late Registration

Shortly after the semester has begun, students who have not yet registered will receive email messages from the ISSS office reminding them that they are currently not registered. If we do not receive a response from you, our office will call or email your academic department and attempt to call your local phone number.

We make these efforts to help you avoid problems with your legal status in the U.S. It is critical that you communicate your circumstances to the ISSS office so we can have a better understanding of the problems you are facing.

If you have fee payment problems....

If you are not able to register because of delays in fee payment by an academic department, fellowship, or sponsor, see a coordinator at the ISSS office. Check with the Bursar's office in the Houchens building as they may be able to assist with a payment plan as well.

Reducing Your Course Load

To request approval before dropping any classes, you must contact the ISSS office at

Immigration regulations permit exceptions to the full-time registration requirement in very limited circumstances. Students are given an international hold on their account that restricts them from dropping below full-time status. You will need approval from the ISSS office to drop below full-time status. You will be reported to SEVIS, your SEVIS record will be terminated, and you will lose your lawful F-1 or J-1 status including employment eligibility and benefits if you are not registered properly. Students will be considered for a reduced enrollment based on the reasons listed below.

  • Final Semester

Degree-seeking students who are completing their degree requirements in a specified semester can enroll for as many or as few units as needed to graduate. Students must meet the criteria below to be determined in their last semester:

  • Have your academic adviser send an email to the ISSS office stating it is indeed your last semester
  • Be identified on the graduation list
  • HealthReasons

Students may drop below full-time for physical or mental health reasons. The reduced enrollment must be recommended by a licensed physician. Students with health problems should contact the University Health Services for care or referral. Reduced enrollment for health reasons may be approved for no more than a cumulative period of 12 months during the student’s degree program. Approval for reduced enrollment will be given for only one semester at a time, thus continuing health problems may need more than one approval if they continue beyond one semester.