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International Student Advising

This page is a guide for Academic Advisors at Old Dominion University, to give them a better understanding of the additional policies and requirements to which our international students must adhere in order to remain legally in the U.S. Should any question come up pertaining to Immigration laws, please send all advisees to us as there are many variables involved when determining the correct action to be taken by a student.


International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) is the main non-academic resource for all students at Old Dominion University who are non-citizens or green card holders. We provide our international students and scholars with information regarding their rights and responsibilities as they pertain to Immigration and Department of State regulations.

Courseload Requirements for F-1 & J-1 Visa Holders

F-1 and J-1 student visa holders have specific immigration requirements in connection with their courseload as these are statuses specifically for education in the U.S. There are many visa statuses represented at ODU but the majority of our international students hold either of these two statuses. If they have a visa status other than F-1 or J-1, the below information does not apply; they should be considered to be like your other advisees would be with regard to courseload, etc.

Minimum Required Courseload: 12 credits

Minimum Required Courseload for Bridge Students: 6 credits (Maximum: 8 credits)

Acceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Reason

Allowable Credits

Student Action

Advisor Action

Adjustment to U.S. academic system (may only be used once and for the first semester) 6 -11 credits Submit Reduced Courseload Request Form (RCL) to ISSS None
Medical issue 0-11 credits Submit RCL and documentation from physician to ISSS None
Advisor error (e.g. registered student for class and student didn't have pre-requisites) 6-11 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL and attach letter of explanation
Final semester of program 1-11 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL

Unacceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Completing work for an incomplete from a previous semester Fear of failing a class or lowering of GPA
Insufficient funds No classes available that the student wants to take

Summer Semester

  • Students who are continuing in a program from spring into fall are not required to register for the summer. This is also true for F-1 or J-1 students transferring from another school.

  • If a student is new to the U.S. and is starting a program in the summer, s/he must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits. This can be a total of credits from different summer sessions.

Program Extension

F-1 and J-1 visa holders have records in a government database known as the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This record documents their academic program information, including the anticipated program end date. UG students are given four years; however, sometimes class offerings, English pre-requisites, failing a class, etc., mean that a student needs to extend his or her program. Immigration requires that our office establish, among other things, that the student has been making sufficient progress towards the completion of his/her program. Students must request the extension of their visa document 45 days before it expires.

Academic Advisor Action: Your advisee should bring you an extension form from our office with the student portion completed. You fill in the advisor portion to provide our office with documentation regarding the status of your advisee's academic program. Once you have written in that information, we ask that you seal it in an envelope and send it to ISSS via campus mail or ask your advisee to drop it off. Our office may contact you if there are clarifications needed. NOTE: In an attempt to assist you at the busier times of the year, some students have filled out the advisor portion so you can read over, approve and then sign the document. This form is a legal document and, therefore, you must be the one to provide the answers in your own writing.

Academic or Disciplinary Suspension

Students who are suspended will likely have to return to their country and apply for another program in the U.S. if they would like to continue sudying elsewhere.

Academic Advisor Action: Encourage your advisees to see an advisor in ISSS immediately. Students can contact us via e-mail, make an appointment online or come to Dragas International Center between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Courseload Requirements for F-1 & J-1 Visa Holders

F-1 and J-1 student visa holders have specific immigration requirements in connection with their courseload as these are statuses specifically for education in the U.S. There are many visa statuses represented at ODU but the majority of our international students hold either of these two statuses. If they have a visa status other than F-1 or J-1, the below information does not apply; they should be considered to be like your other advisees would be with regard to courseload, etc.

Minimum Required Courseload: 9 credits

Minimum Required Courseload for Bridge Students: 3 credits (Maximum: 3 credits)

Acceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Reason

Minimum Allowable Credits

Student Action

Advisor Action

Adjustment to U.S. academic system (first semester only) 6-8 credits Submit Reduced Courseload Request Form (RCL) to ISSS None
Medical issue 0-8 credits Submit RCL and documentation from physician to ISSS None
Advisor error (e.g. registered student for class and student didn't have pre-requisites) 6-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL and attach letter of explanation
All coursework completed, dissertation only remaining 1-8 credits Submit RCL to ISSS Sign RCL
Graduate Assistantship 1-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL
Final semester of program (a class taken for audit does not meet Immigration's enrollment requirements.) 1-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL

Unacceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Completing work for an incomplete from a previous semester Fear of failing a class or lowering of GPA
Insufficient funds No classes available that the student wants to take

Summer Semesters

Students who are continuing in a program from spring into fall are not required to register for the summer. This is also true for F-1 or J-1 students transferring from another school.

If a student is new to the U.S. and is starting a program in the summer, s/he must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits.


Courseload Requirements for F-1 & J-1 Visa Holders

F-1 and J-1 student visa holders have specific immigration requirements in connection with their courseload as these are statuses specifically for education in the U.S. There are many visa statuses represented at ODU but the majority of our international students hold either of these two statuses. If they have a visa status other than F-1 or J-1, the below information does not apply; they should be considered to be like your other advisees would be with regard to courseload, etc.

Minimum Required Courseload for Full-Time University Students: 9 credits

Minimum Required Courseload for Bridge Students: 3 credits (Maximum: 3 credits)

Acceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Reason

Minimum Allowable Credits

Student Action

Advisor Action

Adjustment to U.S. academic system (first semester only) 6-8 credits Submit Reduced Courseload Request Form (RCL) to ISSS None
Medical issue 0-8 credits Submit RCL and documentation from physician to ISSS None
Advisor error (e.g. registered student for class and student didn't have pre-requisites) 6-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL and attach letter of explanation
All coursework completed, dissertation only remaining 1-8 credits Submit RCL to ISSS Sign RCL
Graduate Assistantship 1-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL
Final semester of program (a class taken for audit does not meet Immigration's enrollment requirements.) 1-8 credits Submit RCL to advisor and then to ISSS Sign RCL

Unacceptable Reasons for Reduced Courseload

Completing work for an incomplete from a previous semester Fear of failing a class or lowering of GPA
Insufficient funds No classes available that the student wants to take

Summer Semester

  • Students who are continuing in a program from spring into fall are not required to register for the summer. This is also true for F-1 or J-1 students transferring from another school.
  • If a student is new to the U.S. and is starting a program in the summer, s/he must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits.


When Students Request Your Signatures on Their Paperwork