Enrollment Requirements

All F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full time during Fall and Spring semesters. Generally international students are not required to take classes during the summer as it is considered a break. So, if you are planning to study during the Fall semester and you are not graduating in the summer, then you can take the summer off. However, there are certain students who must enroll  full-time in the summer (please see below: “Who needs to study in the summer?”).

What does full-time mean at Georgia State?

  • For undergraduate students it means 12 credit hours.
  • For graduate students it means 9 credit hours.
  • For IEP (Intensive English Program) students it means 18 credit hours.

There are some exceptions to being full time, but before you become under-enrolled, you must be authorized in advance by ISSS.

  • You are in your final term, you need less than a full course load to complete your program, and the class(es) left are required for degree/program completion.
  • You have completed all your course work and are currently working on a dissertation or thesis.
  • You will be conducting research abroad that is directly related to your thesis or dissertation. (NOTE: You must still be registered in at least one credit hour at Georgia State during your time abroad).
  • You are experiencing academic difficulties during your first semester.
  • You have been placed in an improper course level.
  • You have a medical condition and your doctor provides written recommendation that you be excused from classes. *

*If you experience health problems, please contact ISSS as soon as possible to discuss this further.  In addition, you will need to provide our office with appropriate documentation from your physician.  IMPORTANT NOTE TO PREGNANT STUDENTS:  Normal pregnancy/delivery is NOT a medical condition warranting a reduced course load.  If you have a medical complication or condition outside of a normal pregnancy/delivery, ISSS may authorize medical RCL on a case-by-case basis.  Contact ISSS if you have any questions.

If you meet one of the requirements above, then you will need to fill out the appropriate Reduced Course Load Form:

Academic Reduced Course Load (RCL) Form (PDF)

Medical Reduced Course Load (RCL) Form (PDF) 

IMPORTANT!!!!! You must obtain underenrollment authorization from ISSS before you drop your classes!!! In addition, applying for a reduced course load does not automatically guarantee that it will be approved. Your request will be reviewed by an ISSS advisor.

Who needs to study in the summer?

If any of the situations below apply to you, then you must study full time during the summer at Georgia State:

  • You have been admitted and will begin your degree program during the summer semester
  • You applied for a change of status, and it was approved after spring semester registration closed

Note: Full time in the summer means at least 6 credit hours.