Enrollment Requirements

All F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full time during the academic year: Fall and Spring semesters. During summer semester, international students are generally* not required to take classes because it’s considered a break / vacation period. If you will be studying during the fall semester but not graduating, you can take the summer off and remain in the U.S. lawfully.

*Certain students must enroll full-time in the summer. See "Required Summer Enrollment."


Full-Time Requirements at Kennesaw State University

  • Undergraduate = 12 credit hours
  • Graduate students = 9 credit hours
  • IEP (Intensive English Program) students  = 18 class hours

Online Course Limit

Only one on-line class (3 credit hours) may count towards full-time enrollment.

Reduced Course Load

In limited situations, you may be eligible for an exception to full-time enrollment requirements, which requires pre-authorization by the ISSSO. This is known as a Reduced Course Load, or RCL.

DO NOT withdraw from a course without speaking to your international advisor first, even if you are failing the course.

RCL may be authorized if:

  • 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 coursework 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 KSU during your time abroad).
  • You are experiencing difficulties with the English language during your first semester only.
  • You have been placed in an improper course level by fault of the university or advisor.
  • *You have a medical condition, a Medical Doctor (M.D.) provides written recommendation that you be excused from classes.

*If you experience health problems, please contact the ISSSO as soon as possible to discuss this further. In addition, you will need to provide our office with appropriate documentation from your physician.

Pregnancy: A normal pregnancy or delivery is NOT considered a medical condition eligible for an RCL, unless there are medical complications outside of a normal pregnancy/delivery. In that case, the ISSSO may authorize medical RCL on a case-by-case basis.  Contact the ISSSO if you have any questions.

How To Request a Reduced Course Load (RCL)

  • For a final term RCL, complete the Final Semester I-20 updates e-form in iStart.
  • For a medical RCL, complete the Medical Reduced Course Load e-form in iStart. 
  • For all other cases, please send an email to isss@kennesaw.edu to begin the process.

Required Summer Enrollment

You must study full-time during the summer at Kennesaw State if one of the following is true:

  • You have been admitted, and you will begin your degree program as an F-1 visa student during the summer semester.
  • You applied for a change of status to F-1, and it was approved after spring semester registration closed.
  • You are an Intensive English Program student and you have not yet completed the equivalent of one academic year.

As a reminder, full-time enrollment is considered to be:

  • Undergraduate = 12 credit hours
  • Graduate students = 9 credit hours
  • IEP (Intensive English Program) students = 18 class hours
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