International Student Services / Maintaining Student Status

Maintaining Student Status

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you must be a full-time student in order to maintain your immigration status.

Maintaining Full-time Status

Undergraduate students: must enroll in at least 12 units during the spring and fall semesters to be considered full-time students.

Graduate students: must enroll in at least 9 units during the spring and fall semesters to be considered full-time students. However, graduate students in the following graduate programs (see below) may enroll in at least 6 units to be considered full-time students. No reduced course load applications are required for graduate students enrolled in these programs as long as they are enrolled in at least 6 units for the semester.

Exception: (1) International Graduate Students who are sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission are required by their scholarships to be enrolled in 9 units each semester.

  • Biology - M.S.
  • Civil Engineering - M.S.
  • Computer Engineering - M.S.
  • Computer Science - M.S.
  • Educational Administration - M.S.
  • Education (Higher Education) - M.S.
  • Education (Reading) - M.S.
  • Education (Secondary Ed) - M.S.
  • Electrical Engineering - M.S.
  • Mathematics (Applied) - M.A.
  • Mathematics (Teaching) - M.A.
  • Mechanical Engineering - M.S.
  • Music - M.M.
  • Statistics - M.S.
  • Software Engineering - M.S.

Exception: (2) Other Graduate Programs have different unit requirements for full time course load. International Students in the graduate programs below must be enrolled in at least 8 units to be considered full time:

  • Educational Leadership - Ed.D** - 8 units every semester; 6 units in last two semesters
  • D.N.P. Doctor of Nursing Practice - 8 units every semester
  • Nursing Leadership - M.S.N. (9 units for first 2 semesters; 8 units for last 2 semesters) - 8 units every semester

Online or Web Course Restriction

International students are permitted to take only one "web" or "internet" course per semester (maximum 3 units) to count toward their required full-time enrollment for the purpose of maintaining F-1 or J-1 visa status.

Reduced Course Load

If you enroll in less than the required number of units, to maintain your immigration status, you must file an application for Reduced Course Load (RCL) available at Letters & Forms. You are strongly encouraged to submit the form before the end of the first week of the semester. Failure to submit an RCL form may result in your falling out of F-1 or J-1 status.

Changing Major

You should first speak to an academic advisor in the department of the major you are interested. When you decide to change majors, you should submit necessary documents to the Office of Admission & Records. In addition, you should make an appointment with an ISS advisor to request a new I-20 that shows your new major.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment allows you to enroll in a limited number of classes at another institution while attending school at Cal State Fullerton. Undergraduate students MUST enroll in at least 9 units at CSUF. Concurrent enrollment is not applicable to graduate students.

You must submit the Reduced Course Load (RCL) form (check box "B. Concurrent Enrollment") at Letters & Forms together with registration receipts from the school where you are taking classes concurrently. The form must be submitted before the end of the first week of the semester.

Academic Probation and Disqualification

If you are placed on probation or disqualified, please contact an ISS advisor immediately as your F-1 or J-1 status may be effected.

Additional Responsibiliities

  • Keep your passport valid at least 6 months in the future.
  • Make copies of all important documents: passport, F-1 or J-1 visa page, I-20 or DS-2019 and I-94. Keep the original documents and passport in a secure place.
  • Report promptly to the ISS Office if there are any changes in your address and/or telephone number; major; or extension of graduation date.

Contact Information

 Location: UH-244

+1 (657) 278-2787

+1 (657) 278-7292

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