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Full-Time Enrollment

Students in F-1 or J-1 status must maintain full-time enrollment for the duration of their academic career at UNC-Chapel Hill.  The following constitutes full-time enrollment at UNC-Chapel Hill:

  • Undergraduate Students: 12 credit hours per semester
  • Graduate Students: 9 credit hour per semester.

Online Classes

  • Students may count only one online course (up to 3 credits) towards full-time enrollment.
  • Any course listed as “Remote Only” is considered an online course.
  • If you are enrolled in a course listed as “In Person On Campus+ Remote” you must select the in-person option to count it as an in-person course towards full-time enrollment.


Graduate students who have completed their coursework are considered full-time if they register for a minimum of three (3) credit hours of 992 (master’s paper), 993 (master’s thesis) or 994 (doctoral dissertation).  Enrollment in 992, 993, or 994 is required each fall and spring after completion of coursework in order to maintain immigration status.  Summer enrollment in 992, 993 or 994 is only required if defending the dissertation during the summer session.

International students are not required by United States immigration law to be registered during the summer unless it is the first or last semester of study.

Failure to Enroll

Students who have been suspended or are unable to enroll for any academic, medical, administrative or financial reason should discuss their situation with ISSS.  Failing to enroll will result in the termination of a student’s legal immigration status.

Students who plan to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the University should consult with ISSS to discuss how these plans will affect their current and future immigration status before withdrawing and leaving the U.S.

Concurrent Enrollment

Enrollment in a course at another SEVIS-approved University may count towards full-time enrollment in certain circumstances. Please see ISSS before registering for a course at another University. Students may not take a course at another University in their last semester of study.