International Student and Scholar Services


Reduced Course Load & Full-Time Equivalency

All international students attending St. Cloud State University under F-1 student status are required to be enrolled in a full-time course load to maintain their F-1 student status.

Full-time enrollment at St. Cloud State University includes:

  • 12 credits for undergraduate students
  • 8 credits for master's students
  • 6 credits for doctoral students

In certain circumstances, international students under F-1 student status may be eligible to enroll in less than a full-time course load. All enrollment adjustments require prior approval from the Center for International Studies. See below for links on how to complete a reduce course load (RCL) and Full-Time Equivalency (FTE). 

Advising International Students

International students under F-1 student status at St. Cloud State University have unique advising needs because they must maintain their non-immigration status and meet university academic requirements:

Enrollment Periods

  • They are required to be enrolled full-time in both the fall and spring semesters.  Full-time enrollment is not required during the summer unless it is the student's first semester at St. Cloud State University.

Online/Distant Education

  • They can only count 3 credits of online/distant education toward their full-time enrollment each semester.  An online/distant education course is a course that is offered principally through the use of television, audio, or computer transmission including open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite, audio conferencing, or computer conferencing. 
  • They cannot enroll in only an online/distant education course their final semester of study.
  • They cannot pursue 100% online/distant education certificate or degree programs.


  • They can enroll in less than a full-time enrollment if they are approved for either a Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) or Reduced Course Load (RCL).
  • If a student is not enrolled in a full-time course load and is not approved for a FTE or RCL their SEVIS record will be terminated.

Concurrent Enrollment

  • They can enroll in a course/s at another institution as long as the following are met:
    • Enrolled at least part-time at St. Cloud State University
    • Student's academic department accepts course/s to count directly towards student's degree requirements
    • Proof of enrollment at SEVIS-Approved School


  • They are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.  During breaks and summer vacations they may work more than 20 hours per week on-campus.
  • They must be enrolled in a full-time course load or be approved for a FTE/RCL to work on-campus. 
  • During the summer break, they must be enrolled in a full-time course load during the upcoming fall semester or be approved for a FTE/RCL.

Types of Authorization

  • Reduced Course Load (RCL)

    • Illness or Medical Condition
    • Academic Difficulties
    • Completion of Course of Study
  • Full-Time Equivalency (FTE)

    • Full-Time Curricular Practical Training
    • Concurrent Enrollment
    • Culminating project/Dissertation/Starred Paper/Thesis/Capstone