Online Course Information for International Students

Online Course Requirements for International Students

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

The use of online courses is a growing and integral part of most universities' academic curricula. While this is a convenient option for taking a course, there are limitations to the number of online classes that F-1 and J-1 students can take and remain in compliance with Department of Homeland Security and Department of State requirements that they maintain a full course load, and that their studies lead to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective. 

F-1 and J-1 students who are taking classes that do not require them to be physically present on campus for class attendance, taking an exam, or other requirements relating to the class are advised that only one online class (3 credits) per semester can be counted toward the full course of study requirement.

EXCEPTION: STUDENTS IN THEIR LAST SEMESTER WHO HAVE ONLY ONE REMAINING COURSE MUST TAKE THAT COURSE ON CAMPUS.  The key to this rule is "physical presence on campus," which falls in line with the regulations governing F-1 or J-1 students.  

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

•              12 credit each semester for undergraduate students

•              9 credit each semester for graduate students

Therefore, an F-1 or J-1 undergraduate student who takes 6 credits in class and 6 credits online would be in violation of the full course of study requirement and would be subject to losing their F-1 or J-1 status and have to apply for reinstatement with the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of State.

The following are two examples of how online courses can be taken and not violate the full course of study requirement.

EXAMPLE 1 -- An F-1 or J-1 undergraduate student is enrolled for a semester's classes, as follows:

3 DST 201 - "Deaf Culture" (3 credits)

SPA 111 - "Basic Spanish I" (3 credits)

BIO 105 - "Introduction to Human Biology" (3 credits)

ENG 325 - "Introduction to Deaf Literature" (3 credits, online course, [not in class])

Total 12 credits: full course of study requirement is met

EXAMPLE 2 -- An F-1 or J-1 undergraduate student is taking more than 12 credits, so she/he is qualified to take an additional online course:

DST 201 - "Deaf Culture" (3 credits)

SPA 111 - "Basic Spanish I" (3 credits)

BIO 105 - "Introduction to Human Biology" (3 credits)

ENG 325 - "Introduction to Deaf Literature" (3 credits, online course [not in class])

COM 160 - "Communication Research" (3 credits, online course [not in class])  

Total 15 credits: 9 credits in class plus 3 credits online = 12 [full course of study requirement is met] + 3 additional credits online    

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