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  Online courses

The Department of Homeland Security requires F-1 students to maintain a full course of study and that the course of study must lead to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective. At the University of Texas at Brownsville a full course of study is defined as: 12 credit hours for undergraduate and 9 credit hours for graduate including Ph.D. students.


F-1 students who are taking online or distance learning classes that do not require him/her to be physically present on campus for an exam, class meeting or other purposes relating to the class can count only one online/distance learning class or three credits of online/distance learning per semester toward the full course of study requirement. The only exception is if the student takes a hybrid course. Hybrid courses blend face-to-face interaction such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures with typically web-based educational technologies such as online course cartridges, assignments, discussion boards, and other web-assisted learning tools. 


8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)

For F-1 students enrolled in classes for credit or classroom hours, no more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session, term, semester, trimester, or quarter may be counted if taken on-line or through distance education in a course that does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. An on-line or distance 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. If the F-1 student's course of study is in a language study program, no on-line or distance education classes may be considered to count toward classroom hours or credit.

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