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All F-1 and J-1 international students need to enroll full-time to maintain their legal visa status.


  • Undergraduate students: 12 units minimum per quarter;
  • Graduate students: 8 units minimum per quarter;
  • TGR and Graduation Quarter are considered full time.

Some schools and departments may have higher enrollment requirements. Please check with your school/department.

Immigration law allows the following exceptions to full time enrollment:

  1. Final quarter of your program: You still have to be enrolled for the units remaining to complete the degree.
  2. Summer quarter: You do not have to be enrolled summer quarter unless starting a new program or returning from a leave of absence. However, if you intend to take off fall quarter you must be enrolled full time during the preceding summer quarter.
  3. Documented medical reasons: In order to be able to be less than fully enrolled for medical reasons, you must obtain permission from an International Student Advisor at Bechtel International Center before you drop below full enrollment.
    Video on medical reduced course load

The following are not exceptions to full time enrollment:

  • PSO as an undergraduate.
  • The quarter before becoming TGR.

Stanford is required to report when an F-1/J-1 student has failed to maintain a full course load.

Unless the reduced course load is approved by an International Student Advisor, a visa-status violation will result.

At Stanford this means:

  • If you are a graduate student who wishes to apply for Bechtel approval for a reduced course load in your final quarter  submit a completed Part-time Enrollment petition from the Registrar's Office.
  • If you are an undergraduate student you are not eligible for tuition adjustment until you have completed 12 quarters. You may apply for tuition adjustment in your 13th quarter if it is the final quarter and you have registered for a less than full-time course load. To apply download the 13th-Quarter Petition from the Registrar’s Office. This form must be submitted to Bechtel for approval. Upon approval you will forward the form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you are applying for reduced course load for medical reasons, you must first get approval from the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). You must apply on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Approval can be given for no more than a total of 12 months during your academic program.
  • If you will not be enrolling for any coursework refer to our Leave of Absence section.