Online/distance learning rules

International students in F-1 and J-1 status are required to enroll full time every fall and spring semester. In addition to meeting credit requirements, F-1 international students may only count one online course toward their full-time enrollment each semester. J-1 international students may enroll in one online course per semester.

Courses at Binghamton University are coded as online, in person, or hybrid, based on their modes of delivery. The following are generally considered to be in-person courses:

  • Thesis
  • Pre-dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Final project
  • Independent study
  • Internship courses

If you have questions about your enrollment in online courses, please speak with an ISSS advisor and your academic advisor before the add/drop deadline to ensure that your course registration meets your academic requirements and your immigration requirements.

Special circumstances

  • During your final semester, you should enroll in at least one in-person course in order to maintain your status. Even if you have a Reduced Course Load authorization for your final semester, you should not be enrolled in only online courses.
  • Enrollment is typically not required during the summer or winter semesters; however, if you will be graduating during the summer or winter term, you must take at least one in-person course during that term.

Online programs

Degree programs that are fully online or that only offer online courses in the first semester are not eligible for I-20 issuance. International students in F-1 or J-1 status are not eligible to enroll in these programs. If you are an international student in a different status in the U.S., or if you plan to engage in an online program from outside the United States, you should contact the appropriate admissions office for any questions about your eligibility to enroll.