Information on Online Courses for F-1 Students

Note: The following information does not apply to international students who are taking online courses while living outside of the United States.

Please be aware that the Department of Homeland Security requires F-1 students to maintain a full course of study, and that the course of study must lead to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective.

At Gallaudet University, a full course of study is defined as:

12 credits each semester for undergraduate students
9 credits each semester for graduate students

F-1 students who are taking courses that do not require their physical presence on campus for an exam, class, or other purpose relating to the course can count only one online class (3 credits) per semester toward the full course of study requirement. For example:

3 credits (in class) - DST 201 - "Deaf Culture"
3 credits (in class) - SPA 111 - "Basic Spanish I"
3 credits (in class) - BIO 105 - "Introduction to Human Biology"
3 credits (online) - ENG 325 - "Introduction to Deaf Literature"
Total: 12 credits (9 in class, 3 online) = Full Course of Study Requirement Met

However, if an undergraduate student is taking more than 12 credits, then she/he may take additional online courses:

3 credits (in class) - DST 201 - "Deaf Culture"
3 credits (in class) - SPA 111 - "Basic Spanish I"
3 credits (in class) - BIO 105 - "Introduction to Human Biology"
3 credits (online) - ENG 325 - "Introduction to Deaf Literature"
3 credits (online) - COM 160 - "Communication Research"
Total: 15 credits (9 in class, 6 online) = Full Course of Study Requirement Met

Similar rules apply to a graduate student: If a graduate student is taking a full load of 9 credits, only 3 credits can be from an online course. If a graduate student is taking more than 9 credits, and at least 6 credits are on campus, he/she can take additional
online courses.

Examples of a violation of this requirement for each category of students would be an undergraduate student who takes 6 credits in class and 6 credits online (for a total of 12 credits), or a graduate student who takes 3 credits in class and 6 credits online (for a total of 9 credits). Both students would be in violation of the full course of study requirement and would therefore lose their F-1 status. They would then have to apply for reinstatement with the Department of Homeland Security.

PLEASE NOTE: STUDENTS WHO ARE IN THEIR LAST SEMESTER AND HAVE ONLY ONE COURSE LEFT, MUST BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT ON CAMPUS TO TAKE THAT COURSE. The key to this rule is "physical presence on campus," which falls in line with the regulations governing F-1 students. If students are in their last semester, they must be sure not to take an online course.