Maintaining Valid F-1 Status

As an F-1 student, the primary purpose of your stay in the United States is to pursue a full course of study in the degree program and at the institution listed on your current Form I-20. Please note that no more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class, or three (3) credits per session, may count towards the full course of study requirement.

You are responsible for maintaining your F-1 status. If you are not sure whether or not something will impact your F-1 status, please contact the Center for Global Health before taking any action.

F-1 students must have the following documents: 

  • Valid passport
  • Valid Form I-20 from MUSC
  • Valid I-94 admission record (showing admission in F-1 status for D/S)

F-1 students must do the following:

F-1 students must request prior approval from the Center for Global Health before doing any of the following:

  • Dropping below a full course of study
  • Withdrawing from classes
  • Taking a leave of absence
  • Traveling outside of the United States
  • Accepting part-time on-campus employment
  • Participating in Curricular Practical Training
  • Participating in Optional Practical Training
  • Participating in any educational activities outside of the MUSC campus

Refer to the various pages on this website (see menus on sidebar) for more information about the above-referenced requests and activities. Most information reporting and requests are submitted through your Terra Dotta Portal. Refer to the F-1 Terra Dotta page for more information about using the Terra Dotta system.

Failure to receive appropriate authorization from the Center for Global Health can result in termination of your F-1 SEVIS record. If your F-1 SEVIS record is terminated, you will not be able to continue your studies in the United States. Remember, when in doubt, contact the Center for Global Health in advance to ask questions to ensure that you are not doing anything to violate your F-1 status.

If you plan to change to another nonimmigrant status or adjust to permanent resident status prior to your F-1 program end date, please notify the Center for Global Health so that we can take the appropriate action on your F-1 SEVIS record.