All F1 students must enroll in, and must complete, at least 12 credit hours each semester with a performance grade (A, B, C, etc.). 'WX', 'I', 'WQ', and other markings that are not performance grades have serious F1 consequences. Failure to finish at least 12 credit hours with performance grades at the end of the class/term is a violation of full-time student status. F1 students require advance approval of the International Center to enroll in fewer than 12 credit hours.
Students who arrive in the fall or spring are not required to enroll in summer courses, unless you are an IEP student who has been issued a language training I-20 visa. If your first term of study is the summer semester, or you are an F1 IEP student, you must enroll in at least 3 credit hours for each summer session (6 total). Session I of the summer runs from June to late June/early July and session II runs from early July to early August.
Six credit hours for summer is considered acceptable for full-time status given the fact the summer term is very intense, with most classes meeting daily. Online classes do not count for your summer class requirements.
We encourage F1 students to register online using the eConnect system when ever possible. However, you may be required to visit the International Center regarding registration if you have a registration block, or if you are a new F1 student registering at NLC for the first time.
If you must see an advisor to register for classes be prepared for long waits in the lobby during peak registration times. If possible, have a draft of your class schedule written out before you see an advisor. While there are exceptions, these peak registration times usually occur during the months of August, January, or May just before the start of a new semester.
Exceptions to the full-time rule
To enroll part-time, you must obtain written permission from an F1 advisor in the International Center before the semester begins. You may enroll for fewer than 12 credit hours if you meet at least one of these criteria:
- Entering your last term of study before graduation, and you need fewer than 12 hours to complete degree requirements;
- Prevented from attending class by a serious illness or a medical condition which must be well documented by a licensed medical professional; or
- Facing academic difficulties due to circumstances beyond your control, such as being enrolled in the wrong class by mistake. This must be documented by the professor in a letter.
Each situation is reviewed confidentially and on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions/concerns about this you must make an appointment to discuss your situation with an F1 advisor at the NLC International Center.
If you are an F1 student from another college/university on their I-20 you may be allowed to concurrently enroll in classes at North Lake College with International Center approval. Please visit "Forms" on our website for the concurrent enrollment request form or visit the NLC International Center.
Concurrent enrollment policies are subject to change on short notice. This affects those at other schools enrolling at NLC as well as NLC F1 students who may wish to enroll in courses at another college. This includes any other DCCCD campus. Please check with an F1 advisor for current information.
All F1 students must submit an official degree plan by the 2nd semester of studies at NLC. Failure to submit an official degree plan or declare a major after the first term may cause immigration status problems, and will make completing your degree harder. In addition, a registration block may be placed on your account if no degree plan is declared by the 2nd term of studies at NLC.
International students attending college on an F1 student visa have an obligation to move forward with their degree plan every semester. You can review your academic progress at any time by making an appointment with any advisor in our office. We can also help ensure you are placed in the correct courses.
Understanding your grades and progress
If you’re having issues with grades, don’t know if you can pass a class, or are told that you are on probation, talk to us immediately. F1 students who fail classes and especially fail most if not all classes in a semester may be in violation of F1 status. So the sooner you ask, the better we can help. So if you are having any issues with your academics/classes please make an appointment to speak with an F1 advisor about it as soon as possible before it is too late.