Recruiting International Students into Newly Operational Academic Programs 

The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees the degree-seeking, international student visa category (F visa). SEVP certifies schools to host international students. The Office of Global Engagement (GEO) serves as the liaison between UNCG and SEVP to maintain UNCG’s certification status. 

Any new program created at UNCG must be approved by SEVP before international students can be enrolled into the new program. Detailed program information must be gathered in order to submit a new program for approval. See a complete list of documents needed to include your program as eligible for international student enrollment.

It takes 3-6 months for a new program to be approved by SEVP and become eligible to enroll international students. GEO staff are happy to speak to the faculty in your schools to further address this information upon request. For specific support through the process, please refer Chairs and Academic Program directors to Ms. Jen Kelley at [email protected].

Advising International Students 

When it comes to advising for international degree-seeking students, there are a number of unique factors to consider in comparison to their domestic peers. In addition to issues faced by nearly all university students, international students are required to adjust to a variety of circumstances including learning a new academic system, acquiring English, experiencing homesickness and culture shock, and navigating a new set of social norms. 

The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) understands the key role that academic advisors play throughout an international student’s experience at UNCG. For this reason, we have compiled information to help guide advisors in working with international students in all programs and levels. If you cannot easily locate the information you need on our F-1 Advising Guide, contact us at [email protected] for additional help. 

Enrollment Requirements 

All international students on F-1 or J-1 visa must be enrolled as full-time students during the fall and spring terms, which are known as mandatory terms of enrollment. For undergraduates, full-time enrollment is 12 credit hours. For graduate students, full-time enrollment is 9 credit hours. There are a few exceptions to full-time enrollment outlined on our Maintaining Your Status page.

Summer enrollment is only required if the summer is the first or last session of enrollment.

Online Coursework 

International students are required to enroll in a minimum of 75% face-to-face courses  during each mandatory term of full-time enrollment (6 out of 9 credits for GR and 9 out of 12 credits for UG). Only courses codes as “Greensboro Campus” are eligible to be considered as “face-to-face.” Online campus courses can never be considered “in-person.” 


F-1 students are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during fall/spring semesters. They may exceed 20 hours per week of on-campus employment over the summer sessions, even if they are registered for summer classes.  

They are not permitted to work off campus without prior written employment authorization from ISSS. For types of off-campus employment and more information about how to obtain an employment authorization, please visit the Training and Employment webpage. 


F-1 students can apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), an off-campus internship authorization, after completing one academic year in F-1 status. CPT authorization is required for both paid and unpaid positions for any amount of time. Students can only request CPT if they have an advisor’s recommendation and a credit-bearing course providing oversight of the internship OR if there is a specific practical requirement listed in the UNCG University Catalog. If your student is ready to apply for CPT, they can do so via the ISSS Portal. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]

Communication Tips 

These helpful Tips for Successful Communication with International Students provided by Boston University can be adapted to use at UNCG as well. We hope you find it and their other resources useful! 

Helping Students in Crisis 

Many students are faced with crises during their university years – academic struggles, economic pressure, family stress, relationships that turn violent, or health concerns. Fortunately, UNCG can assist with many offices dedicated to protecting student well-being and assisting with crisis management. You can notify one of these offices about a student you may be concerned about at UNCG Cares

For an international student, an academic crisis, economic problems, or health concerns may be further complicated by immigration restrictions on their legal options, and by cultural adjustment. If you identify an international student in crisis, please be sure to alert an International Student Advisor at [email protected] so that we can advise and assist with immigration related steps that may be needed. 

A few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Even in a crisis, students on F-1 or J-1 visas must maintain a full-time course load to remain lawful in the U.S. unless pre-approved by ISSS. Any drop below full-time academic status requires prior approval by ISSS based on initial academic or English-language difficulties, medical reasons, or if the student is in their final term. 
  • F-1/J-1 students have limited U.S. work or aid options. An international student facing financial difficulty may have limited options for work authorization or financial assistance. 
  • Cultural adjustment is often difficult and may aggravate other stresses. Understanding the stages of cultural adjustment may help a student manage their stress level. 
  • Students from other cultures may view behavioral health or sexual health services differently. Encourage international students to utilize Student Health Services, the Campus Violence Response Center, and Counseling Services when appropriate. 
  • A criminal or misdemeanor conviction or disciplinary action can have long-term immigration repercussions. Criminal charges and disciplinary action can have both immediate and long-term effect on a student’s legal options for remaining in the U.S. Students facing criminal charges should contact a reputable immigration attorney and alert ISSS staff immediately. 
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