International Students

F-1 Student Responsibilities

The Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP) places responsibility on the international student to understand and comply with program regulations. This section summarizes the responsibilities for F-1 students. Failure to comply with these responsibilities may jeopardize their F-1 student status.

Register for and Complete a Full Course of Study

F-1 students are required to register and enroll in a full course of study each quarter.  The following are the CTU’s minimum unit requirements per quarter for F-1 students to maintain full-time registration for each level of study:

  • Associate Degree in Accounting: 12 units per quarter
  • Master of Business Administration: 8 units per quarter

Under certain circumstances, F-1 students may be authorized to enroll for less than a full course of study and still meet program regulations for maintaining status. The student should meet one of the criteria listed on the Reduced Course Load Request Form, consult with and obtain approval from the Academic Dean and/or provide medical documentation.

Obtain Approval when Changing Universities or Degree Programs

As an F-1 student, you must obtain a new Form I-20 each time you change your major, transfer to another university, or change academic level of study. If you are applying for a new program at CTU, please submit a new Student Application Form along with supporting documents. Transfers must be completed no later than 15 days after the beginning of classes.

Complete Your Program Before I-20 Expires

An F-1 student has permission to study in the United States up to the expected completion date as indicated on the Form I-20. On program completion, the student has 60 days to either:

  • Leave the United States
  • Change to another status
  • Or begin a new program (this requires a new Form I-20)

To request for an extension, the student must demonstrate that additional time is needed because of compelling academic reasons or a documented medical illness. An F-1 student who requires additional time to complete a program must submit a Program Extension Form along with supporting documents one month before the Form I-20 expires.

Applying for OPT

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). To apply for OPT, an F-1 student must submit an OPT Request Form to the school and follow the OPT application process.

Keep Passport Valid

A student must maintain a valid passport at all times. USCIS will not approve any applications for OPT employment authorization or other benefits unless your passport is valid or in the process of being re-validated.