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Enrollment & Maintaining Status

International students are required by law to enroll in a full course of study at all times. Failure to enroll in a full course of study or dropping below the minimum requirements will result in a student’s immigration status being terminated.

ASU policy prohibits international students from registering at other satellite campuses in the ASU system. If a student wishes to register at another campus, the student will need to apply for a transfer to that campus. The campus must be able to issue the appropriate immigration documents before a transfer will be approved.

Required Fall & Spring Credit Hours

Required Credit Hours for ESL Students

ESL students must be registered for the number of credit hours required by the Intensive Center for English. The Intensive Center for English will assist each student for the required number of hours. Usually this means 12 hours per semester.

Required Credit Hours for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must be registered in at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester. Students may not take more than 3 credit hours of online classes that count towards the minimum 12 hours. Classes taken beyond the minimum requirements can be online, web-assisted or in class.

9 hrs must be in class or web-assisted + 3 hrs may be online = 12 hrs total 

Required Credit hours for Pre-Requisite Graduate Students 

Pre-graduate students are defined as students that are required to complete undergraduate level pre-requisite courses and meet certain academic requirements before beginning their graduate program. Students in this category must be registered in at least 12 credit hours. Students may not take more than 3 credit hours of online classes that count towards the minimum 12 hours. Classes taken beyond the minimum requirements can be online, web-assisted or in class.

9 hours must be in class or web-assisted + 3 hours may be online = 12 hours total  

Required Credit Hours for Graduate Students

Graduate students must be registered in at least 9 graduate credit hours. Graduate classes are defined as courses that are 5000 and above (including 500V). Students may not take more than 3 credit hours of online classes that count towards the minimum 9 hours. Classes taken beyond the minimum requirements can be online, web-assisted or in-class.

6 hours must be in class or web-assisted + 3 hours may be online = 9 hours total 

Required Credit Hours for Graduate or Teaching Assistants

Graduate students with a Graduate or Teaching Assistantship must be registered in at least 6 graduate credit hours each fall and spring semester during which they hold the assistantship. Students may not take more than 3 credit hours of online classes that count towards the minimum 6 hours. Classes taken beyond the minimum requirements can be online, web-assisted or in-class.

3 hours must be in class or web-assisted + 3 hours may be online = 6 hours total 

Required Credit Hours for Doctoral Students

Doctoral students must be registered in at least 9 graduate credit hours regardless if the student holds a graduate, teaching or research assistantship. Students may not take more than 3 credit hours of online classes that count towards the minimum 9 hours.

6 hours must be in class or web-assisted + 3 hours may be online = 9 hours total 

Thesis or Equivalent Work

Students who are required to do a thesis or equivalent can either consider their course of study completed (students must then follow the regulations as specified in the section on completing course requirements), or they must register in thesis/dissertation (or equivalent) hours following the full course of study requirements.

Exceptions to Full Time Study

There are some instances in which a student may take below the minimum required hours.

Final Semester

Students in their last semester of coursework are allowed to take less than a full course of study, but they are required to take at least 1 credit hour. If only 1 class is required for graduation, it cannot be an online class. If their last semester is summer, they must still be registered in at least 1 credit hour.

Students who choose this option and do not graduate will be terminated at the end of the semester for failing to enroll in a full course of study. Therefore students are advised to choose this option only after careful consultation with their academic advisor and an immigration advisor.

Illness or Medical Condition

Students must get written permission from a medical doctor stating their medical condition is severe enough that they cannot enroll in a full course of study. The nature of the illness does not have to be revealed, however the Office of International Programs has to approve this request before a student can drop their classes. This reason cannot be used more than an aggregate of 12 months during the program study.

Academic Difficulty

In rare circumstances a student facing exceptional academic difficulty might be allowed to drop below the required number of credit hours; however, this is allowed only during the first semester of study, and it must be approved by the Office of International Programs. Students who are approved for this request must be registered in at least 6 credit hours throughout the semester (including summer if required to be registered in the summer).

Required Summer Credit Hours

Students are eligible to take the summer term off from class as long as they have completed an ‘academic year' in their current immigration status and they plan to register in the fall.

Students who start their studies at ASU in the summer or in the mid-spring term, students who have not completed the academic year requirement, and/or students who will not register in the same course of study in the fall must be registered in full time hours according to the below requirements.

ESL Students

ESL students must be registered for the number of credit hours given by the Intensive Center for English. The Intensive Center for English will assist each student in registering for the required number of hours.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must be registered in at least 9 credit hours (6 credit hours must be from in-class or web-assisted courses. The other 3 credit hours can be from an online, web assisted, or in-class course(s). Students have two options for arranging the Summer academic schedule:

  1. 6 credit hrs in Summer 1 and 3 credit hrs in Summer 2
  2. 3 credit hrs in Summer 1 and 6 credit hrs in Summer 2
Pre-Requisite Graduate Students

Pre-graduate students are defined as students that are required to complete undergraduate level pre-requisite courses and meet certain academic requirements before beginning their graduate program. Students in this category are required to register in at least 9 credit hours (6 hours must be in class or web-assisted, 3 hours can be online, in-class or web assisted) Students have two options for arranging the Summer academic schedule:

  1. 6 credit hours in Summer 1 and 3 credit hours in Summer 2
  2. 3 credit hours in Summer 1 and 6 credit hours in Summer 2
Graduate Students

Graduate students (whether or not they have a Graduate, Teaching, or Research Assistantship) must be registered in at least 6 graduate credit hours (3 credit hours must be from an in-class or web-assisted course(s). The other 3 credit hours can be from an online, web assisted, or in-class course(s). Students must take at least 3 credit hours each summer term.

Doctoral Students

Doctoral students, as long as they are funded by their departments, must be registered in at least 6 graduate credit hours (3 credit hours must be from an in-class or web-assisted course(s). The other 3 credit hours can be from an online, web assisted, or in-class course(s). Students must take at least 3 credit hours each summer term.

REMEMBER

Students are responsible for maintaining their own immigration status at all times.

Please remember as you review the information on this page:

  • This information is susceptible to change.
  • This information is not an exhaustive list pertaining to enrollment requirements.
  • For additional information regarding enrollment requirements, students can visit: www.ice.gov, www.uscis.gov, or speak with the international programs office. 

Students are responsible at all times for properly informing the DSO of their immigration status and academic status (as pertaining to immigration matters).