Academic Advising

Registration Requirements for International Students

The U.S. government requires that international students register for a full course load each semester.

  • 12 credits for Undergraduates
  • 12 credits for Professional Students (Pharmacy)
  • 6 credits for Graduates

Reduced Course Loads

See an ISS advisor before dropping below the minimum required credit hours.  If you are eligible for a reduced course load, you will be required to complete a Reduced Course Load form before dropping your classes.

**Dropping below the required course load without prior authorization will cause you to lose your legal status.**

Online Courses

International students can only take a maximum of 3 credits in online courses to count towards their full course load required by the government.

Students who are completing their program must be registered for at least one in-person class during their final term of enrollment otherwise they will lose their legal status.  Graduate students working full-time on their thesis are an exception.

Academic Advising

ISS staff can provide advising on things like how to register for classes, read your APAS report, use Grad Planner, add/drop deadlines for classes, how your enrollment and academic performance impacts your immigration status, and give advice on successfully navigating the U.S. academic culture.  For specific advice about which classes you should register for, or about your major or degree program, we recommend that you talk to your Academic Advisor instead.  We also serve as secondary academic advisors for undergraduate international students.

UMD Academic Advising (Collegiate Unit Advising)

ISS staff can also connect you with academic services designed to help students succeed.  All of these services are FREE for students.

  • Tutoring Center
    • Peer tutoring in many subject areas.
  • One-on-One Tutoring - Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    • Individual tutoring in almost any subject.  (See ISS staff for eligibility and to sign up)
  • Test Taking Accommodations
    • Non-native English speakers in their 1st semester at UMD or 2nd semester (if enrolled in AELP courses) may request extra time for exams, to use dictionaries, translators, etc. with instructor approval. (See ISS staff for eligibility and to sign up).
  • Smart Pen
    • Record lectures and synchronize it with your written notes.  This makes it easy for students to review audio from certain parts of the lecture and take additional notes.  (See ISS staff for eligibility and to sign up)
  • Writers' Workshop
    • Get assistance at any stage in the writing process.
  • Academic English Language Program
    • Advanced English courses directly related to students’ academic coursework.
  • Student Success Program
    • Academic enrichment courses, training and practicum opportunities, and supplemental instruction for select courses.