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Full-Time Enrollment Requirement

To maintain valid standing, international students are required to be enrolled full-time and making good progress towards their degree or educational objective. 

Full-time enrollment is required in the academic year, Fall and Spring semesters. Credit minimums for immigration purposes are listed below. Make sure to read the online course limitations section as well.

  • 12 credits per semester for Undergraduate students
  • 9 credits per semester for Graduate students
  • 8 credit minimum for Arts and Cultural Management or Design Management
  • 18 clock hours per week for Certificate students

Please note that your academic requirements for progress in your degree program may be higher than the minimum.


Only one online class can count towards your full-time enrollment status each semester. It is okay to enroll in more than one online class per semester, but only the credits from one online class can apply to meet the full-time enrollment minimum threshold. The rest of the credits that you count to meet the full-time minimum need to be in-person courses.

For example, an undergraduate student enrolled in 15 credits via five 3-credit classes could take two online classes. They would have 9 in-person credits and can count one of the 3-credit online classes to meet the minimum threshold of 12 credits. The extra online credits beyond the full-time minimum are fine. Another example is a graduate student enrolling in two online classes (3 credits each). If the student is registered for at least 6 additional in-person credits, they can apply one of the 3-credit online classes plus the 6 in-person credits to meet the 9 credit full-time enrollment minimum.

Also, if it is your final semester and your final requirement is only an online class, you still have to enroll in at least one in-person course to maintain F-1 status.

Contact if you need any clarification whether your course enrollment is acceptable for immigration purposes.


A few exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement are possible, which require advance approval from a OIA Designated School Official (DSO). If you wish to enroll in a less than full-time courseload, or drop a course during the semester which will cause you to fall below the full-time minimum, you should apply for an Exception to full-time enrollment.

  • Final semester or Thesis

The most common reason for Exception is for students in the final semester of study who need less than full-time enrollment to complete the program.

The other common reason is for Graduate students who have completed all the coursework besides the thesis and thesis course.

To get Exception to Full-time approval for your final semester or thesis progress:

1) Complete Exception to Full-time Form Section 1.

2) Ask your academic advisor/department advisor to complete and sign Section 2.

3) Email the completed form to

  • Medical situation

Students experiencing medical issues that affect either physical or mental capability to be full-time enrolled may be eligible for an Exception. You should contact Pratt’s Student Advocate and Care Coordinator if you feel this is your situation.