Academic Registration Requirements

Your F-1 status was granted to you for the purpose of engaging in full-time study in the U.S. For this reason, full-time academic registration each semester is a foundational requirement of maintaining your legal immigration status.

Registration and Attendance

You must register for and complete a full-time course load each fall and spring semester at Emerson College and during summer semester if it is your first, final or only term.

Full-time registration at Emerson College is defined as 12 credits per semester for undergraduates, and 8 credits per semester for graduate students. Please bear in mind that your ability to register for classes each term requires timely payment of your tuition bill, as well as compliance with Massachusetts state immunization and health insurance requirements.

Audit Courses

Audit courses do not count toward your required full-time registration.

Withdrawal from Course

If you withdraw from a course, you are not considered to have completed the course for the semester and this course will not be counted toward your required full-time registration.

Incomplete Grade

If you receive an incomplete grade, you are considered to have been successfully enrolled for that course for that semester and the incomplete grade will be counted towards your required registration. However, you must then complete all remaining requirements for the incomplete course promptly in addition to enrolling in continued full-time coursework in following semesters.

Online Courses

Although F-1 status allows you to enroll in on-line or distance education courses, only one such course (or 3 credits) per semester may count toward the full-time requirement. If you are completing your final program requirements, registration in online coursework alone is not sufficient to anchor your F-1 status. Your registration must include some on-campus registration.

Concurrent Enrollment

If you are approved to take a course at another school, you must request advanced authorization from your academic department and OISA. Coursework taken concurrently at another school may count toward your full-time registration requirement as long as you also maintain active registration at Emerson.

Part-Time Registration

Registering for a part-time course load or dropping below full-time without prior authorization from OISA will immediately jeopardize your immigration status. Prior OISA authorization for a Reduced Course Load may be granted due to academic difficulties, medical reasons or in your final semester. Also see Registration Exceptions.

Summer Registration

Registration in summer courses is not required if summer is a “vacation” term, meaning that you are enrolled in the spring semester courses and are eligible to and intend to return to full-time study in the fall.

However, summer registration is required if you will start or finish your program in summer, or if summer is your only term.