International Graduate Student Guidelines
As an international graduate student, it is your responsibility to follow both institutional and federal regulations to avoid losing your F-1 student status and visa. Always contact the Center for Adult and Professional Studies and your DSO with any questions or concerns you might have about the following regulations:
Be a full-time student
International graduate students must maintain a full course of study: You have to be enrolled in at least nine (9) credit hours per fall and spring semesters to remain in compliance with your F-1 visa status. Six (6) of the nine (9) required credit hours have to be on-campus or on-campus/hybrid credit hours, three (3) credit hours may be taken online.You are not required to enroll in classes during any summer session, but you do have the option to. When a student does not remain in status the I-20, visa, and I-94 are no longer valid!
Carry Health Insurance
Health insurance is mandatory for international students in the U.S. Click here for information about Carson-Newman’s Health Insurance. All international students will be charged each semester for student health insurance. It will automatically be included in your bill at the beginning of the semester. Cost per month is approximately $100.
Keep Your Information and Documents Current
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future.Carry your passport, I-94 card, and I-20 with you at all times! Apply for I-20 extensions at least 60 days prior to your I-20 completion date. Contact your Advisor and DSO for approval. Report any change of address to your DSO within 10 days of moving.
Prepare For Traveling and Transitions
See your DSO at least one week before leaving the U.S. to obtain the appropriate signature on your I-20 and complete your travel clearance form to return. Once you leave the U.S. after your listed degree is completed, you may not reenter, even if your I-20 has not expired. When your degree is complete, you have a 60 day grace period to either: Apply for a new degree program and I-20, leave the U.S., or begin Optional Practical Training. Always save your outdated travel documents for future reference.
International Graduate Student DSO contact information:
Ms. Dagmar Schoenhoff, PDSO
Center for Adult and Professional Studies, Ted Russell Hall, Room 116