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Full-Time Enrollment & Exceptions (FTE)

To maintain valid standing, F-1 and J-1 international students are required to be enrolled in a continuous Full Course of Study making normal progress towards their degree or educational objective. 

At Pratt, Full-Time Enrollment or approved Exception (FTE) is required in the academic year, which is Fall and Spring semesters. Enrollment minimums for immigration purposes are:

Undergraduate: 12 credits
Graduate Degree and GID: 9 credits (exception: CEL is 8 credits)
Certificate through SCPS: 18 clock hours per week

Your requirements for progress in your particular academic program may be higher than the minimum. Please make sure your enrollment is acceptable by your academic advisor each semester.


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. If you are not interested or eligible to apply for OPT, you can potentially end your F-1 status early and complete the final online class from abroad.


The following exceptions are possible, but only with OIA advanced approval:

  1. Final semester of study and only need a part-time courseload to complete
  2. Graduate thesis in progress full-time with all other formal coursework completed
  3. Verified medical situation approved via Student Support and Advocacy

Students in the above situations should request FTE (Full-time Exception/Equivalency) in your TDS Student Portal.

You are eligible to apply for FTE as soon as your are registered for your minimum courseload for the semester, and you should apply before the semester begins. It is ok if you decide to add additional non-required classes after FTE is granted. If you are applying mid-semester do not drop any classes and below full-time until your FTE request is approved by OIA.

If you feel you have a situation that requires you to be less than full-time enrolled and it is not one of the above reasons, please contact OIA for additional support.