Spring 2022: Traditional Full-Time Enrollment Requirements Apply

The University of Colorado Boulder intends to resume normal operations in the Spring 2022 semester. Therefore, the traditional rules regarding full-time enrollment requirements will apply.

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CU Online Course Delivery Restriction

Due to current restrictions imposed by U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, webcourse delivery cannot be provided to the following countries:

  • Cuba, Iran, Sudan, North Korea, Syria, Crimea Region of the Ukraine

Students who are a resident or may be a resident in any of these countries during their CU study, may require prior U.S. government approval. Students resident in a sanctioned country should not enroll or begin an academic program at CU. CU can seek prior U.S. government approval on a case by case basis. If you are interested in seeking prior approval, contact the Office of Export Controls at exportcontrolhelp@colorado.edu.

Immigration regulations requirenonimmigrant students in F-1 or J-1 status to be enrolled in a full-time course load each fall and spring semester in order to maintain nonimmigrant visa status. Full-time enrollment is only required in the summer if it is your first or last semester of enrollment.

  • ISSS is required to report in SEVIS whether a student is enrolled full-time at CU Boulder, received an authorized reduced course load, dropped below a full course of study without prior authorization by the DSO, or failed to enroll.

A full course of study is defined as:

  • Undergraduate students: At least 12 credit hours
  • Graduate students: At least 5 graduate credit hours or a combination of 8 credit hours of graduate and undergraduate-level courses

Classes must be taken for a grade or pass/fail in order to count toward the full-time requirement. Classes taken for no-credit will not count toward the full-time enrollment requirement.

Failure to meet the full-time enrollment requirement or receive an authorized reduced course load can result in your SEVIS record being terminated.

  • Please review the Study in the States website for additional information on full-time enrollment requirements.

Online/ Distance Education Restriction

Please note that the online education restriction for students in F-1 status is currently modified through the Fall 2021 semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Requirement prior to the temporary COVID-19 pandemic modification and effective Spring 2022:

For both undergraduate and graduate students, only 3 credits of online or distance education courses can count towards the full-time requirement. For example, if you are an undergraduate student, you can take a 3-credit class online, but you must have at least 9 additional on-campus credits that are for in-person classes that take place in a classroom. 

On-Campus Physical Presence Requirement

On-campus presence is required every fall and spring semester (see exception below for students in F-1 status through Fall 2021). It is also required in the summer if the summer term is your first or last semester. If you plan to graduate in the summer, you must maintain some level of on-campus presence by enrolling in on-campus credits.

Enrolling in a Continuing Education Online Flexible Course

International students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to be fully enrolled in order to maintain F-1 and J-1 status. CE Online Flexible courses offered through Continuing Education (CE) may count toward a full course of study only if completed within the Continuing Education 6-month deadline (or within 8 months, if granted a * two-month extension by Continuing Education). International students in F-1 and J-1  status will need to seek ISSS approval prior to registering for a CE Online Flexible Course by submitting the CE Online Flexible Course Request Form. After students have received approval from ISSS, they will need to upload a copy of the completed ISSS CE Online Flexible Course Request DocuSign where it says “Add Documents” when they complete Continuing Education’s course request form.                     

  1. In order to count toward full-time enrollment in a given semester, the grade for the CE Online Flexible course must post in the semester in which a student first registers for that course.
  2. If a CE Online Flexible course is dropped, the credits will not count toward that semester’s enrollment. Dropping a CE Online Flexible course could potentially result in retroactive under-enrollment which will result in the loss of F-1 or J-1 status. 
  3. *Extensions are not guaranteed. Check with Continuing Education for eligibility requirements. 

Please give careful consideration to the structure of a CE Online Flexible course prior to registering for one. If a student is using a CE Online Flexible course to meet the full-time enrollment requirement, it is imperative that the student complete the course in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in loss of F-1 or J-1 status.

Incomplete (I) Grades

Getting a grade of I counts toward the full-time minimum requirements for enrollment purposes (not for work authorization purposes) as long as the course is an on-campus course, thesis hour, independent study, or dissertation hour. Students who are considering taking an incomplete in a course through Continuing Education should speak with an ISSS advisor BEFORE taking an incomplete.

Exceptions to the Full-Time Enrollment Requirement

Less than a Full-Time Course Load Remaining

If it is your final semester and less than a full-time course load is required to complete your degree, you must submit a Confirmation of Final Semester e-Form (available in MyISSS portal).

Authorized Reduced Course Load

If you have a qualifying Academic or Medical reason, you may be eligible for an authorized reduced course load. Please consult ISSS if you have questions regarding eligibility requirements and do not drop courses without ISSS authorization.

ISSS Drop Advising Hold

Due to the full-time enrollment requirements for students in F-1 and J-1 status, an ISSS Drop Advising Hold is placed on the record of all international students’ in F-1 or J-1 status. The hold prevents students from dropping below a full course of study without prior permission from ISSS.

  • If students in F-1 or J-1 status wishes to drop a class after the ISSS hold is placed on their record, they will need to work with an ISSS advisor to have the hold removed.