Office of Admissions
International Student Services
UHV international student advisors (Designated School Officials/DSO) are required to verify F1 student enrollment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Enrollment information (number of courses, method of instruction whether online or face-to-face, full-time or partime hours) will be relayed to SEVIS by the DSO throughout the semester.
The regulations require F1 visa holders to pursue a full course of study and make normal progress toward the completion of the intended program. Failing grades, non-participation, dropping or withdrawing from class during a semester are not options for F1 students. If you are having difficulty with your classes, contact the DSO for options you may have before the semester ends.
There are limits to the number of online courses a student may take during the fall and spring terms. Special care must be taken to choose a concentration and program that meets this enrollment requirement. Online courses are popular and some of the degree programs at UHV are delivered fully online with no face-to-face course instruction. Programs with a high number of online courses will not meet the F1 visa requirements to maintain the visa status properly. To help students choose programs that meet the F1 visa requirements, we have included a UHV Program Guide under the International Student Admission heading in the left column of this web page.
Undergraduate Student Enrollment Requirements
- Undergraduate students must enroll in a full-time course load of 12 semester hours during each spring and fall terms.
- Within the 12 semester hours, online enrollment is limited to 3 semester hours.
- Enrollment over 12 semester hours may be in courses with online instruction, but the student must maintain enrollment in the three face-to-face courses in order to maintain F1 status.
Graduate Student Enrollment Requirements
- Graduate students must enroll in a full-time course load of 9 semester hours during each spring and fall terms.
- Within the 9 semester hours, online enrollment is limited to 3 semester hours.
- Enrollment over 9 semester hours may be in courses with online instruction, but the student must maintain enrollment in the two face-to-face courses in order to maintain F1 status.
Summer is considerd to be a vacation term for most continuing F1 students. Enrollment during the summer term is optional for international students who were previously enrolled. There is no limit to online course instruction during the summer term for continuing students.
However, students who enter the university for the first time in the Summer term must enroll in minimum of 6 semester hours with face-to-face instruction. Some programs that have course rotations beginning in the Summer term may require additional courses.
Programs with Course Rotation Schedules
Students who enroll in a program that has an established course rotation schedule must pay close attention to their registration and successful completion of all courses in order to maintain F1 visa status. For example, if a student misses or fails a course offered in the spring term they may not be able to continue to the fall term's courses due to not having the previous course. Since the course they need may not be available until the following spring term they will not be able to continue in their program of study. It is impossible for an F1 visa holder to sit out one or two semesters waiting until the course is available. The DSO should be notified immediately when students find themselves in this type of situation.
Dropping Below Full-time Enrollment
There are exceptions for full-time enrollment in special cases. in the evle to enroll for the required number of hours, you should contact the DSO as soon as possible. Exceptions to a full course of study are:
- Medical problem (documentation is necessary)
- Valid academic reasons for enrolling less than full time
- Students in their final term of study graduation / program completion
Changing your Program of Study
You must follow correct procedures in changing from one program to another. Contact the international student advisor in the Office of Admissions for the instructions to do this. Changing your program will require a new I-20 with the new degree program on the first page and possible program extension dates.
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