Fall 2021 Enrollment Guidance

Posted On March 31, 2021
Categories Featured

Fall 2021 course registration will begin on March 29th.   As such, International Student & Scholar Services wants to update you on enrollment guidance for F-1 and J-1 international students.

At this time, International Student & Scholar Services has not received updated guidance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regarding Fall 2021. However, it is ISSS’s expectation that SEVP and Department of State will end special COVID allowances for majority on-line and hybrid classes and revert to pre-COVID standard enrollment regulations.

In preparation for the possibility that the rules will revert to pre-COVID regulations, ISSS strongly advises all international students on F-1 and J-1 student visas to follow the standard immigration regulations when registering for fall classes.  For a refresher on those requirements, please review the Enrollment Requirements webpage.

Historically, F-1 and J-1 students are required to maintain a full-time course load during fall and spring semesters. Full-time enrollment means undergraduate students must enroll for at least 12 credits every semester.

For F-1 and J-1 visa holders, only 1 online class (i.e. 3 credit hours) per semester may count towards a “full course of study.”  For example, an undergraduate student is required to register for 12 credits per semester to maintain full-time status. Of the 12 required hours only 3 credit hours may be online so at least 9 credit hours must be traditional, face-to-face enrollment. After an F-1 student has met the full-time requirement, any additional hours above the required hours may be either regular campus classes or online.


Summer is considered a normal break in academic studies for continuing undergraduate students.

F-1 & J-1 undergraduate students who have studied in Spring 2021 and will study at GSU in Fall 2021 are not required to enroll in any summer classes.  If an international student who has met the full-time requirement for the preceding spring semester decides to enroll in classes for summer, there is no minimum enrollment requirement nor any restriction on method of delivery.

Please note.  This is subject to change but currently, we do not have updated guidance. While we understand this may be challenging information to receive, we recommend you make enrollment plans with the expectation that these regulations will go back to the way they were before COVID. Should new guidance be released in the future, we will effectively communicate that to you.