Online Course Limitations for F-1 Students

Dear SJSU Advising Community,

Did you know that there are limitations on the number of online courses F-1 students can take each term to count toward full-time enrollment?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) F-1 regulations only allow 3 units of online coursework to count towards an international student’s full-time enrollment (12 units for undergraduates/ 9 units for graduate students).  Hybrid courses that require even minimal face-to-face contact are not considered to be online courses.  Please note that there is no restriction on the number of online classes F-1 students can take, but only 3 units of online courses can count towards full-time enrollment.

Please be aware of this policy when you advise F-1 students because their enrollment in more than one online course or three online units could impact their immigration status.  If you have any questions, please contact International Programs and Services at 408-924-5920

The policy (8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)) can be accessed on the USCIS website at


Lael Adediji, Coordinator of Advising Information


Academic Advising and Retention Services (AARS)