For F-1 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 online 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 online 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 online or distance education classes may be considered to count toward classroom hours or credit.
As a portion of the student’s “full course of study,” only one course (max. 4 hours) may be taken online or through a Distance Education class that does not require regular attendance.
In addition to the restriction on the number of credits/classes that may be taken online each semester, there are additional restrictions where International Students may not take online classes.
According to the F-1 regulations, an online class is one that “does not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class.” Therefore any course that has some sort of physical attendance requirement, such as a lecture, exam, or faculty meeting is not considered fully online for visa status purposes. Hybrid classes that are mostly online but have a regular physical presence requirement are not counted toward the 1 class limit for online courses.