Undergraduate students are required to be enrolled in at least 12 semester hours each fall and spring semester.
Graduate students are required to be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours each fall and spring semester.
English Language Institute students are required to be enrolled in at least 18 clock hours each fall and spring semester.
J-1 students and all students enrolled in the English Language Institute may not apply online courses toward the minimum full course load requirements.
F-1 Undergraduate and Graduate students may apply one online course toward the minimum full course load requirements. Students in their final semester before graduation must be enrolled in at least one classroom-based course.
You should always speak with an International Student Advisor in the Office of International Student Services prior to dropping a course. If you are unable to maintain a full course of study, you should submit a Request for a Reduced Course Load prior to dropping a course. A Reduced Course Load can only be approved under certain circumstances. Permission from your academic advisor is not enough. You must get prior approval from the Office of International Student Services. If approved, you will receive a new Form I-20 or DS-2019 with permission for the RCL.
Yes, each semester a hold is placed on your Marshall University record that will prevent you from registering for classes until you provide proof of health insurance.
Insurance purchased in your home country will usually not be sufficient. The Office of International Student Services recommends that students buy insurance through Insurance for Students, Inc. This plan meets all the requirements set by the Office of International Student Services.
In order to receive an extension on your program, you must receive permission from both your academic advisor and a DSO or ARO in the Office of International Student Services. You must submit a Program Extension From along with updated financial documentation to cover the duration of the extension. Upon submission for your Program Extension Form, your advisor will be notified to complete an Advisor Certification form as well. All documentation for a program extension request must be received and approved by the Office of International Student Services prior to the end date on the I-20.
You must report any change of major to the Office of International Student Services after you have been accepted into a new program. An updated I-20 will be made to reflect this major change. After you submit the Request for Change of Major form for graduate students (available in the graduate office) or your academic advisor’s office (for undergraduate students) and are accepted into the new area of study, you should submit a Request for a Replacement I-20 form to the Office of International Student Services.
In order to transfer to another school, you must first apply to and be accepted at the school you wish to transfer to and contact a DSO (for F-1 students) or ARO (for J-1 students) at that school. Some schools require a Transfer Release Form to be completed by a DSO or ARO at the previous school. If you are transferring to a school that requires this form, please be sure to complete the student section of the form and submit to the Office of International Student Services at Marshall University. The Transfer Release Form will be completed by a DSO or ARO in the Office of International Student Services and submitted directly to the new school. Once you are accepted and receive your acceptance letter, you should submit the letter and a completed Transfer Out Form to the Office of International Students Services to request the transfer of your SEVIS record.
To inquire about changing your immigration status, please contact the Office of International Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
You must maintain a valid passport at all times. It is your responsibility to contact your embassy or consulate to have your passport renewed.
F-1 Employment Questions
As an F-1 student, you have permission to work on-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week) when the university is in regular school sessions (Fall and Spring semesters) and full-time (20+ hours per week) when the university is not in session (December holiday, Spring Break, summer).
Working off-campus without employment authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 visa status. Please see a a DSO to discuss off-campus employment.
You must be in current F-1 status, have been enrolled consistently and maintaining status for one academic year.
Pre-completion OPT can be authorized during annual vacation and other times school is not is session, or while school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session.
Post-completion OPT can be authorized after completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent, if you are in a bachelor, master, or doctoral degree program after completion of your course of study.
A cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. Part-time, pre-completion OPT is utilized at a rate of 1:2..
Employment during OPT must be directly related to and commensurate with the level of your course of study. Unpaid and paid internships or volunteerships are acceptable for 12-month standard OPT. If you have any questions about whether a position is acceptable while on OPT, please contact a DSO.
Optional Practical Training is recommended by a DSO and authorized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approved by USCIS, you will receive an EAD card (I-766 Employment Authorization Document) which serves as your proof of authorization to work in the United States.
There is some risk involved in reentering the US before your OPT is approved. Please contact the Office of International Student Services prior to traveling if your OPT application is pending.
If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.
If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.
CPT is Curricular Practical Training for F-1 students. F-1 students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period of time approved. Students must continue to be enrolled for a full course of study during the period of CPT.
You can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less). In specific situations, you may be approved for full-time (over 20 hours).
Your work must be an integral part of an established curriculum, in your course/field of study. You must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.
Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training. Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
A DSO in the Office of International Student Services will authorize CPT in SEVIS and issue an I-20 with notation, before your work can begin. USCIS approval is not required.
J-1 Employment Questions
Students in J-1 student status may engage in two kinds of employment:
Academic training related to the course of study
Other employment related to academic funding, on-campus work, or economic necessity.
Each kind of employment has its own criteria and limits. See an ARO in the Office of International Student Services for more information.
J-1 exchange visitors may work on-campus part-time when classes are in session, and full-time during semester and summer breaks. You are required to have authorization from an ARO before you can work on-campus. You will need to provide a letter from your employer stating job description, location, and number of hours work per week.
J-1 exchange visitors and J-2 dependents are eligible to work off-campus in certain circumstances as long as they have maintained their immigration status. You are only allowed to work off-campus with prior permission from an ARO.
If you are planning on traveling outside the United States for LESS THAN 5 MONTHS, you will need the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:
A passport valid for 6 months beyond your date of entry
A valid F-1 or J-1 entry visa
Current I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel signature
Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses
You can travel to Mexico, Canada, or an island adjacent (except Cuba) to the United States for less than 30 days with an expired visa and re-enter the U.S. through automatic visa revalidation. You MUST see a DSO or ARO prior to traveling.
It is permissible to be in the United States with an expired visa; however, you must have a valid visa to re-enter the United States.
You will need to contact the U.S. Consulate in your home country for a complete list of requirements, but you will definitely need the following: your current I-20 or DS-2019, a current financial statement, a current academic transcript, and a passport valid for at least 6 months.
You will need to notify the Office of International Student Services within 10 days of moving to a new address so we can update your information in SEVIS. Please fill out a Request to Update Personal Information.
You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) you have been offered a job on-campus. If the position is off-campus, you must have proper employment authorization (OPT or CPT). An application for a SSN can be submitted to the Social Security Administration as early as 30 days prior to the start of the position.
First, you must have a job or an offer of a job. You will need to bring a letter from your employer stating your job description, location of employment, and number of hours you will work per week. Additionally, you must submit an SSN Status Verification Letter Request Form. The Office of International Student Services will provide you a status verification letter to submit with your SSN application. For more information, view the SSN Information handout.
F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to apply for a WV driver’s license. You will need a letter issued by an DSO or ARO stating you are currently studying at Marshall University. To request a letter, you must fill out the Status Verification Letter Request Form. If you are applying for a driver’s license, you will need to take a written exam and will also need to complete a driving test.