Full-time Enrollment

Enrollment Requirement at Webster University

Successful completion of the full course of study must lead to the achievement of a specific educational objective such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree etc. Full course of studies at Webster University means:

Undergraduate Students

  • 12 credit hours or more each semester

Graduate Students

  • In the School of Education: 5 credit hours per term (8 weeks) or 9 credits hours in semester-long (16 weeks) courses 
  • In all other Schools or Colleges: 6 credit hours per term
  • ESL Students Full Program: 18 clock hours per week.
  • In the Doctoral Program: 3 credits hours per term

Online Courses

International students are required to take most of their classes in classroom setting. Only 3 credits hours per semester/term will be counted towards full-time enrollment. No online classes may be counted towards full-time enrollment requirement for ESL students.  Only students who are taking overload courses may take more than 3 credits hours of online classes.

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

This is the exception to full-time enrollment. International Recruitment and International Services may give permission to an F-1 or J-1 student to enroll less than full-time for academic or medical reason. Students must first obtain permission from our office. Student granted RCL are considered to be maintaining status even if they are not registered full-time. Authorization for RCL is issued in the form a new I-20. A student who drops below full-time without the prior approval of our office will be considered out of status. There are three categories of RCL namely:

  1. Academic difficulties and,
  2. Illness or medical conditions  and
  3. Completion of studies.

1. Academic Difficulties

A student must apply for reduced course load if he or she is unable to enroll full-time due to academic difficulties. You must submit the Reduced Course Load Form, signed by the student and his or her academic advisor to International Recruitment and International Services. When the request is approved by an international student advisor or DSO/ARO, you will be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 that authorizes you to drop below full-time.

RCL for academic reason consists of at least 6 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students or 3 credit hours per term for graduate students. Permission for academic reasons is only granted once during the student’s entire degree program (e.g. bachelor’s or master’s etc.). The designated school official (DSO) may authorize a reduced course load on account of one of the following:

  • Initial difficulty with the English language or
  • Initial difficulty with reading requirements or
  • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods or
  • Improper course level placement

The student must resume full-time enrollment at the next available term, or semester, excluding a summer session (for undergraduate students) or vacation term for graduate students, in order to maintain student status. A student previously authorized to drop below a full-time due to academic difficulties is not eligible for a second authorization by the DSO or ARO due to academic difficulties while pursuing a studying at the same degree level.

2. Illness or Medical Conditions

A student must apply for reduced course load if he or she is unable to enroll full-time due to illness or medical condition by submitting Reduced Course Load Form and medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist to International Recruitment and International Services. If the illness or medical condition continues, the student must submit new medical documentation each new term or semester. You will be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 that authorizes you to drop below full-time.

Based on the doctor’s recommendation, the DSO or ARO may authorize a reduced course load (or, if necessary, no course load) due to a student's temporary illness or medical condition for a period of time not to exceed an aggregate of 12 months while the student is pursuing a degree program at the same level.

3. Completion of Studies

A student must apply for reduced course load if he or she has fewer courses left to complete his or her degree in the final term. You must submit the Reduced Course Load Form, signed by the student and his or her academic advisor to International Recruitment and International Services.

Concurrent Enrollment

International students on F-1 or J-1 visas are eligible to enroll at Webster University and at another SEVIS approved school simultaneously, as long as the combined enrollment adds up to a full-time enrollment in Webster University terms (i.e. undergraduates = 12 credits per semester and graduates = 6 credits per nine week term). However, they must first receive approval from their academic advisors and from International Recruitment and International  Services Office. Concurrent enrollment will be approved one semester/term at a time. The student must receive approval each semester/term of concurrent enrollment.

Procedure to enroll at other institution

A student who wishes to participate in concurrent enrollment must do the following:

  • Register for at least one class (1-3 credits) at Webster University to be approved a concurrent enrollment, except in cases where enrollment at Webster University is not possible.
  • Obtain a written approval from his/her academic advisor, addressed to International Recruitment & International Services to request authorization to take classes at another institution.

On receiving approval from the student’s advisor, International Recruitment & International Services will provide the student a letter to permit him/her to enroll for the specified number of credits at another institution and a new I-20 with concurrent enrollment information included on page 1 in the remarks section. The student will be informed by mail or phone call when the new I-20 and letter are ready to be picked up.

The student must fulfill his/her side of the agreement by providing the Academic Advisor and International Recruitment & International Services with the class schedule and transcript from the other institution. Failure to provide this information can amount to a violation of the student’s F-1 or J-1 status that can consequently lead to termination of his/her visa status.

A student who does not wish to take any course at all at Webster University, but want to take classes full-time at another institution must request a transfer of his/her I-20 or DS-2019 to the new institution. Concurrent enrollment cannot be granted to such a student.