International students in F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant status must be enrolled full-time each semester (fall and spring). Students required to take English Language Institute (ELI) courses may count ELI credits (3 credits per course) as part of their full-time course load.
Minimum credit hours for full-time enrollment:
- Undergraduates - 12 credit hours/semester
- Graduate Students
- 8 credit hours/semester; or
- If graduate teaching/research assistant, a minimum of 6 credit hours/semester; or
- If in thesis/dissertation stage, may enroll in 700F or 800 for 1 credit. Graduate students should check with Graduate Division for complete enrollment requirements.
Under certain circumstances, international students may receive authorization from the ISS to enroll for less than full-time. RCL request forms are available at the ISS office or on the forms page. Requests must be submitted to and approved by ISS BEFORE a student drops below full-time.
The allowable reasons include:
- academic difficulties (including initial English language difficulties)
- having an illness or medical condition documented by a licensed physician
- preparation for and taking doctoral comprehensive exams
- last semester of study that requires less than full time course load
Immigration regulations restrict enrollment in online distance education courses that require that all coursework be completed on-line. However, immigration regulations do not restrict enrollment in hybrid distance education courses that require that coursework be completed through a combination of online and in-classroom coursework.
International students enrolling in online distance education courses must adhere to the following guidelines per level of study in order to maintain immigration status:
- Undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 9 credit hours of regular classroom or hybrid online course work, plus 3 or more credit hours of online distance education course work each semester.
- Graduate students must register for a minimum of 5 credit hours of regular classroom or hybrid online course work, plus 3 or more credit hours of online distance education course work each semester.
Students may enroll concurrently at UH Mānoa and other school(s), as long as the combined course load constitutes a full time course load in addition to the following:
- Continue to make normal progress toward the degree/academic objective.
- Continue to take at least one credit-bearing class at UH Mānoa each semester concurrently enrolled.
- Enrolling concurrently at another campus in the UH system does not need advance authorization from the ISS.
- Enrolling concurrently at a non-UH campus will require advance authorization from an ISS adviser. Click here to schedule an ISS adviser appointment and bring proof of your registration at the other school. Dates of the term at the other school should be similar to the semester dates at UH Mānoa.
UH policy stipulates that all non-immigrant students must obtain adequate health insurance as a condition of enrollment. [see Health Insurance].