Undergraduates and less than 12 credits

Can a student with fewer than 12 credits live on campus?

Students living in residential housing must be enrolled full-time. Those who drop below full-time status (defined by Marymount as a minimum of 12 hours for undergraduate students) are required to vacate housing. Limited exceptions to this policy may be made by the Director of OCRS.

Can a student with fewer than 12 credits participate in athletics?

It depends on what semester he/she is in. If it is his/her final semester and will be graduating (not just walking at graduation) and receiving a degree at the end of the spring semester, then the minimum number of credits is what is needed to obtain the degree. Anyone else must be at or above 12 credits per semester.

If an athlete drops below 12 credits, he or she must notify the coach immediately and be placed on the ineligible list. If this step isn’t followed the entire team and the coach may receive harsh NCAA sanctions.

How does dropping below 12 credits impact financial aid awards?

Unfortunately, financial aid awards are not one-size-fits all, and rules that apply to one student’s aid package may differ from the rules governing another student’s aid. It’s critical that you contact our financial aid department for advice if you might have your credit hours fall below the 12 required for full-time status. To contact the Financial Aid office, please email financial.aid@marymount.edu or call 703-284-1530. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  We are located near the Registar’s office on the main level of Rowley Hall.

What should international students know about being enrolled in fewer than 12 credits?

Only international students studying on an F-1 visa have the requirement to be full-time during the fall and spring semesters, which is 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students.  Students studying on other visa types are able to be part-time during the fall and spring semesters.  If an F-1 student is going to drop below full-time registration they must have approval from the International Student Services (ISS) office added to their SEVIS record prior to dropping their classes.  If a student drops below full-time without the proper prior approval they are out of status and their SEVIS I-20 record will be terminated.  In order to move their record back to active status the F-1 student must apply for reinstatement or obtain a new I-20 and visa to travel and re-enter the United States.

There are only a few reasons why students can be part time, and they are:

  • First semester in the United States and has English language deficiencies
    In the first semester of academic studies in the United States and is unfamiliar with the education system
    Has initial difficulties with the reading requirement
    Advised to drop the course because of improper course level placement
    Medical problems, (Must provide medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed Psychologist)
    In the last semester of the program and requires less than full-time credits
    Is enrolled at another institution, and the total credits between the two institutions are more than full-time (must provide an approved MU Course Substitution form)

To receive approval to drop below a full-time course load an F-1 student must have their academic advisor, Assistant Dean or Dean complete a Reduced Course Load form and submit it to the ISS office.

If a student, staff or faculty member have any questions regarding international students, please contact the ISS office at iss@marymount.edu or 703.526.6922.