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.
Students may apply only one course or 3 credit hours of online coursework per semester to the full-time enrollment requirement. Students may not take only online courses in their last semester of study.
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 from the University or to be outside the United States for more than 5 months should consult with ISSS to discuss how these plans will affect their current and future immigration status before withdrawing and leaving the U.S.
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.