Distance Education (Online)* Courses
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires F-1 students to enroll in a minimum number of "physical presence" courses each semester in order to meet the full-time enrollment requirement.
Students who enroll in too many distance education (online) courses and who do not take the minimum number of "physical presence" hours/courses violate their F-1 status.
- Graduate students must enroll in at least 6 hours of "physical presence" courses each required semester **
- Undergraduate students must take at least 9 credit hours of “physical presence” courses each required semester **
- The remainder of the hours needed to meet the full-time enrollment requirement may be distance education (online) hours or "physical presence" hours.
- If a student has only one course remaining in the last semester before graduation, that course cannot be an online course.
* Distance Education is defined as a course where the student receives the majority of instruction in a way other than being present in a classroom on campus. CPT and independent research courses are not considered distance education courses. If you have questions regarding what is defined as a "physical presence" course or other elements of the full-time enrollment requirement, contact an international student advisor.
** See the full-time enrollment requirements for more information about required semesters.