Frequently Asked Questions for Academic Advisors advising International Students

Advising Basics

  • F-1 student MUST enroll in a full course of study (Undergraduate 12 hours; Graduate 9 hours)
  • F-1 students can only take ONE online course (3 credit hours) per semester towards their full course of study.
  • If a F-1 student only needs one course to complete their program of study, the course CANNOT be online or distance learning. The last course in the final semester must be face-to-face
  • F-1 Student must be enrolled in an on-campus program with a specific education objective
  • F-1 students must be authorized by JSU Global ISSS for any off-campus work/internship
  • JSU Global ISSS must report all changes regarding the student to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

 

What is the role of the JSU Global International Student and Scholar Services?

JSU Global International Student and Scholar Services assists international students to obtain the F1 visa and to maintain their visa status throughout their time at Jackson State University. ISSS is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create Certificates of Eligibility (I-20 form) on behalf of Jackson State University. This program is called the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

What is Full-time Enrollment for International Students?

Undergraduate: 12 hours
Graduate: 9 hours

 

What if an International Student Changes Major or Degree Level – Does the Student Need to Do Anything?

Yes, students need their immigration documents to reflect their current degree program and level of study. If a student changes majors or degree level, they must come by JSU Global to update their information.

Do International Students Need to Enroll Full-time in the Summer?

Enrollment is usually not required during the summer semester; however, students must be enrolled full-time in summer if the following conditions apply:

  • Summer is the first semester of the degree program
  • Summer is the semester in which the student will graduate and/or complete degree requirements
  • Student took the previous fall or current spring semester off

 

Can International Students Take Online Courses?

F-1 international students can only count ONE online class toward their full course load of study. 

If a student only needs one course to complete your program of study, the course CANNOT be online or distance learning.

Can International Students Pursue Online Degree Programs?

  • According to U.S. immigration regulations, F-1 students cannot pursue online degrees.
  • International students in other visa categories (i.e. H-4, L2) are exempt from this restriction.

 

Can International Students Ever Register Below Full-time?

Students must always be full-time as outlined above, under certain circumstances, F-1 students may receive authorization for a Reduced Course Load (RCL), which gives them permission to enroll below full-time and still maintain valid immigration status. Click Reasons and Guidleine for RCL to view Reason and Guidelines for Reduced Courseload.

The school's DSO must approve the RCL in SEVIS before the reduction in course load takes place, so any reduction should be discussed in advance with JSU Global.

Can International Students Enroll Concurrently at More Than One Institution?

F-1students may enroll concurrently as long as the combined enrollment amounts to a full time course of study. Students must attend another SEVIS-approved institution and consult with the International office. The majority of courses must be taken at the school that has their SEVIS record. See Concurrent Enrollment Policy. 

Can Internatioanl Students Transfer to Another Institution?

Yes, international students wishing to pursue their study objectives at another SEVIS-approved institution must ensure the transfer of their immigration and academic record to another institution. See Transfer Procedures here.

Can International Students Work On-campus?

F-1 pursuing a full course of study may work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. When classes are not in session, they may work more than 20 hours. If students have specific questions about working on-campus, have them consult JSU Global. Click here for more information. 

Can International Students Work Off-campus?

Off-campus work is prohibited in all categories unless it is specifically authorized under the regulations governing the student's particular immigration category. CPT or OPT. Working without authorization is an immigration status violation that can make the student subject to falling out of status. Before accepting or engaging in any kind of employment, students should consult JSU Global.