Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find some of the more commonly ask questions. If you do not find the answers for your particular question please contact the Dean of Students office for more information.

“What Does it mean to: ‘Fall out of Status, Lose your Status, or be out of Status?’”
When you enter the U.S. you are granted legal status in the U.S. based on the type of Visa you used to enter. Your Status is designated on your I–94 card. For F–1 students who used a 7–1 Visa and a I–20 to enter the U.S. your I–94 card is designated “F–1 and “D/S”. The D/S means “Duration of Status”. This means you may remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain your student status by obeying all the F–1 regulations. If you fail to obey any of the student regulations, you are in violation of your status. “Fall out of status” “loosing your status”, and “out of status” all refer to violating your status or disobeying an immigration law. Whether you disobey an immigration law by choice or by ignorance, the penalty is the same! Once you have violated your status you are illegal or unlawfully present in the U.S. If you have violated your status you should make an appointment to see the Dean of Students.
“If I am failing a class, is it Ok to drop the class without authorization from the MSO?”
You should not drop any class during the Fall or Spring semester that would cause you to drop below full–time hours (12 hours per semester for under graduate and 9 hours per semester for graduate students) without making an appointment to see the Dean of Students. Only he or she may give you immigration related authorization to drop below full–time hours. Keep in mind there a limited number of reasons for dropping below full–time hours that are acceptable to the U.S. Government.
“Will I be in Violation of my student status if my Dean or Academic Advisor gives me permission to drop below full–time hours?”
Yes, Your Dean or Academic Advisor may give you permission academically, but not for INS purposes. Make an appointment with the DSO.
“Is it true that during the Summer I can work anywhere and do not need to obtain special permission?”
This is false! If you are in legal full–time F–1 status, you may work anywhere on–campus during the Summer (full–time or part–time) but off–campus employment ALWAYS requires clearance from INS.
“Do Practicum’s or internships which are required for my degree have to be authorized by MSO?”
Yes, only MSO and Enrollment can help you obtain the necessary authorization.

If you have questions you would like to see added to FAQ, please e–mail to Camille E. Phelps.