As an international student, you must register for and complete a full course of study each term during the academic year. Registration is completed through MyOSU. To register for classes, you will need your OSU identification number, a General Access PIN (GAP) number, and a Registration PIN number.

Full-time status varies by the type of student you are; summer and vacation periods normally do not require registration as long as you are a continuing student. 

Do not withdraw from or audit any classes that will result in less than a full course load.

If you have serious academic or medical concerns, you will need to make an appointment with an international student advisor for possible exceptions prior to dropping below full-time status.

Maintaining Full-Time Status 

F-1 and J-1 students must maintain full-time enrollment to maintain their immigration status.  Full-time enrollment for immigration purposes depends on your program of study here at OSU.  Below are the full-time requirements based on program:

  • Academic English – 18 credits per term 
  • General English – 18 credits per term 
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Pathways – 12 credits per term 
  • CAPN – 18 credits per term 
  • CAP – 12 credits per term 
  •  Undergraduate – 12 credits per term 
  • Graduate – 9 credits per term (Note: Graduate assistants are required by the Graduate School to enroll in 12 credits each term.)

Ecampus (online) Classes

For all students, only 3 credits of online or distance education classes can count towards the full-course of study.  Therefore, if you are an undergraduate student, you must take at least 9 credits of in-person classes each term that you are required to be full-time.  For graduate students, you must take at least 6 credits of in-person classes each term.

Audited or Dropped/Withdrawn Classes

Classes that are audited or dropped/withdrawn do NOT count towards your full course of study. 

Exceptions to the Full-time Requirement

In general, undergraduate students may apply for a "reduced course load" at the start of their final term if they have less than 12 credits remaining to complete their degree. Graduate students who have completed all required coursework and all requirements listed on their specific graduate program of study may apply for a "reduced enrollment". Reduced enrollment may be approved for up to 4 terms for a master's student or 6 terms for a doctoral student. Both forms are available on the ISAS website and in the ISAS and International Living and Learning Center reception lobby. Some of the most common types are listed on our Forms page

Vacation Term

Students who are in degree programs on an F-1 or J-1 visa are allowed to take one vacation term during the year, and can take summer as a vacation term without any additional approval needed. Students on a vacation term can choose not to register for credits during that vacation term or take part-time credits. Students who wish to take a term off other than summer term should make an appointment with an international student advisor to determine eligibility.

INTO OSU students require approval for a vacation term from ISAS, please meet with an International Student Advisor for details. Students in INTO OSU programs can request a vacation term after enrolling full-time for three consecutive terms and folloiwng the eligibiilty requirements for this benefit.

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