International Student and Scholar Services

Full-Time Equivalency (FTE)

International students must enroll full-time to maintain their international student status. In certain circumstances, students may request an authorization to under-enroll by requesting a Full-Time Equivalency authorization.

Review the information below for FTE requests. For more information regarding full-time enrollment, please see our enrollment requirements webpage.

Types of Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) Requests:

  • Authorized participation in full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT)- allows international students who are engaged in full-time CPT (21+ hours/week) to be considered in full-time enrollment. Student must be enrolled in at least one credit related to their internship to qualify.
  • Concurrent enrollment - allows international students to be enrolled in two different SEVIS-approved schools at the same time as long as the combined enrollment amounts to a full-time course of study.
    • This is required if student will be taking below full-time credits at St. Cloud State University, in semesters where full-time enrollment is required.
    • The majority of credits for the semester (over half) must be taken at St. Cloud State.
  • Masters/Doctoral students working on a culminating project/dissertation/starred paper/thesis/capstone - allows international masters/doctoral students who are completing all coursework for the degree requirements and are working on their culminating project/dissertation/starred paper/thesis to be considered in full-time enrollment. Must be enrolled in at least one credit to qualify.


  • Student is currently in valid F-1 student status.
  • Student meets all necessary requirements for the requested category, including enrollment requirements.
  • Student is enrolled in the course/s listed on FTE application.
  • Reasons for ineligibility:
    • Student is not enrolled in required credits at St. Cloud State University according to FTE option selected.
    • Student is in their final semester and will be under-enrolled to complete remaining required courses for their degree requirements must apply for a Reduced Course Load (RCL), and not an FTE authorization.

Key Points:

  • FTE requests should be submitted no later than 1-2 weeks before the semester begins.  
  • You may wish to speak with your academic advisor prior to submitting your request to discuss how it may affect progress in your academic program and to register for the appropriate courses.
  • International students may not drop below full-time or enroll concurrently at another institution without receiving PRIOR authorization from International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). 
  • Full-Time Equivalency authorizations are granted per semester. International students must resume a full course of study or apply for another authorization to under-enroll in the next semester to maintain F-1 student status.
  • International students may continue to work on-campus while on approved full-time equivalency authorization as long as the employment will not interfere with the student’s academic studies and the student is enrolled as required according to FTE reason.
  • An approved Full-Time Equivalency authorization does not result in any changes to your SEVIS record or I-20.

Application Procedures

  1. Discuss your plan to request a Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) with your academic advisor and register for the appropriate courses.
  2. Complete the online Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) Request Form
    • You may also access the form by visiting and sign in with your student Office365 account. Select the “Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) form” in “Forms I can Submit”. You may view the status of your request from the forms dashboard throughout the process.
    • Please read through our step-by-step user guide (PDF)
    • This form will allow you to request an FTE authorization for one of the following reasons:
      • Authorized participation in full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
        • You may use this option if you have not included an FTE request with your online CPT request form. Your full-time CPT request (21+ hours/week) must be approved or pending for the same semester.
        • You must be enrolled in the related CPT course for at least 1 credit.
      • Concurrent Enrollment
        • You must be enrolled in courses at St. Cloud State and the secondary institution. SCSU registration must be less than full-time requirements. Majority of the credits (over half) must be at St. Cloud State University.
        • You must upload official proof of course registration at the second institution within the form.
      • Masters/Doctoral students working on a culminating project/dissertation/starred paper/thesis/capstone
        • The student must be enrolled in the course/s listed on the request form prior to submission.
  3. Once the form is submitted, the review process will begin. You will receive e-mail updates at each stage of the review process. FTE requests require review and recommendations by the following people or groups:
    • Academic Advisor
    • ISSS Review (options 1-2)
    • International Student Advisor (DSO) Final Review
      • Processing time is an estimated 5-7 business days once it is with a DSO. During peak times of the semester, processing time may be delayed due to the high volume of applications.
  4. If approved, the international student advisor (DSO) will authorize FTE for the semester. You will be notified in a final e-mail if your request is approved.

If you need general assistance, please reach out to our office by e-mail at or call 320-308-4287.

For specific questions/concerns once your request is submitted, please reach out to International Student & Scholar Services by e-mail at

FTE applications must be submitted before the semester begins.

Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.

Final review/approval does not begin until a complete application is submitted and recommended by approvers prior to the international student advisor (DSO) step.

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