Washington State University

International Programs

Global Services

Enrollment Requirements

Students must take a certain number of credit hours each semester to maintain their F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status. In general, students should enroll in the following number of credits each fall and spring semester:

  • Undergraduate students: Enroll in at least 12 credit hours.
  • Graduate students: Enroll in at least 10 credit hours.
  • Notes on Enrollment

Enrollment Requirements for

Reduced Load




Requests to Drop Below a Full Course Load

There are situations in which a student can register for less than the required number of credits hours. Two of the more common and acceptable reasons include:

  • Graduate students who have completed all course requirements and are in the dissertation only stage of their studies.
  • Students who need less than 12 credits (Undergrad) or 10 credits (Graduate) to complete their degree requiements during their last semester.
  • For a detailed list of acceptable reasons, visit the RCL Eligibility page

In either case the student must still complete a Reduction of Course Load Request Form at the beginning of each semester.

If you need to drop below the required number of credit hours for other academic or for medical reasons, the first step for you will be to meet with an Global Services advisor before completing a reduction in course load request form.

You can stop by during our walk-in hours or make an appointment to speak with an advisor about these other acceptable reasons for droping below a full-time course load.

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Summer Session Enrollment

  • International students who were enrolled at WSU during the Spring semester and plan to continue the following fall semester are not required to enroll during the Summer semester.
  • WSU requires that graduate students defending in the summer are required to enroll in at least 2 research credits (700/702/800). Refer to the Graduate School for more information.
  • If the summer semester is your first semester at WSU and a summer start date is on your I-20 or DS-2019, then you must enroll for credits during the summer semester. A new graduate student must register for 3 credits during the summer and a new undergraduate student must enroll for 6 credits during the summer.

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Online Courses

Only three online credits may be counted toward your full-time enrollment requirements. For example, if an undergraduate wants to take 6 credits online, s/he must still take 9 credits in a classroom. Therefore, s/he will take 15 credits, but only 12 will count toward the Immigration requirements.

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Concurrent Enrollment

  • You may take classes at other schools while taking classes at WSU
  • At least 50% of your classes must be at WSU.
  • The classes you take at another school will count toward your full-time enrollment requirement at WSU if you submit a Concurrent Enrollment Request.

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  • Your department and/or the Graduate School may require you to take more credits.
  • In order to keep you from droping out of legal status, after the 10th day of classes a hold is placed on your enrollment so that you can make no drops or withdrawals to your schedule without first visiting Global Services.
  • If a change does not drop you below full-time enrollement, you will be asked to complete a simple request form at the front desk of Global Services and we will disenroll you from the class (the hold will remain on your account)

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Office of International Programs

International Programs, PO Box 645121, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5121, 509-335-2541, Contact Us