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School Comparison Chart: Full Course of Study and Employment

Last updated 23-Jan-2019

This chart lists the various types of SEVIS-certified F and M schools and how they differ for students regarding:

  • Full course of study
  • Employment options
  • Special notes

Class of Admission

Type of School

Full Course
of Study

Employment/Practical Training Authorization

Special Notes

F-1

Kindergarten – 12th Grade

Class attendance for not less than the minimum number of hours a week prescribed by the school for the normal progress toward graduation, and which is consistent with state requirements for compulsory education.

On-campus: Employment allowed for students who meet federal and state legal requirements and consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law.

Off-campus:

  • Severe economic hardship only.
  • Must complete one academic year as an F-1 before eligible.

Note: Employment allowed for students who meet federal and state legal requirements and consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law.

 

Telephone number and email address are not required in SEVIS.

Private K-12: May attend as many grades as needed/wanted.

Public:

  • May attend up to an aggregate of 12 months.
  • Grades 9-12 only.
  • Must pay local educational agency the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing education at the school for the period of the student's attendance.

F-1

Religious Seminary and/or Conservatory

Prescribed by the school for normal progress toward graduation. (Certified by DSO as a full course of study.)

On-campus:

  • Up to 20 hour per week, when school is in session.
  • May work full time during school vacations and breaks.

Off-campus: Must complete one academic year as an F-1 before eligible.

Internship with an International Organization: Regulation does not require prior enrollment or limit hours per week.

Practical Training: Must complete academic year at an SEVP-certified school before eligible for:

  • Curricular practical training (CPT)
  • Optional practical training (OPT)

 

F-1

College/University (including Community College): Undergraduate

At least twelve semester or quarter hours per academic term, when all students enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are considered full-time for administrative purposes.

On-campus:

  • Up to 20 hours per week when school is in session.
  • May work full time during school vacations and breaks.

Off-campus: Must complete one academic year as an F-1 before eligible.

Internship with an International Organization: Regulation does not require prior enrollment or limit hours per week.

Practical training: Must complete academic year at an SEVP-certified school before eligible for:

  • CPT
  • OPT

 

F-1

College/University: Postgraduate and Postdoctoral

Prescribed by the school for normal progress toward graduation. (Certified by DSO as a full course of study.)

On-campus:

  • Up to 20 hours per week when school is in session.
  • May work full time during school vacations and breaks.

Off-campus: Must complete one academic year as an F-1 before eligible.

Internship with an International Organization: Regulation does not require prior enrollment or limit hours per week.

Practical Training:

  • CPT: Normally, must complete one academic year at an SEVP-certified school before eligible, but may begin within first academic year if required by program.
  • OPT: Must complete academic year at an SEVP-certified school before eligible.

 

F-1

English as a Second Language

Consists of either:

  • At least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction.
  • At least twenty-two clock hours a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of laboratory work.

On-campus:

  • Up to 20 hours per week when school is in session
  • May work full time during school vacations and breaks

 

M-1

Vocational Schools

Vocational or Nonacademic Curriculum: Consists of either:

  • At least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction.
  • At least twenty-two clock hours a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of shop or laboratory work.

Community or Junior College: Consists of at least twelve semester or quarter hours per academic term, when all students enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are considered full-time for administrative purposes.

Practical Training: Skills application in conjunction with class instruction occurs throughout the program of study and is not measured, e.g., beauticians cutting hair after being told how.

Note: Only after program completion.

  • May transfer only within first six months of program.
  • Initial entry to program limited to 12 months.
  • May apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for extensions to total three years in program.
  • Cannot change original educational objective.

M-1

Flight Training Providers

Consists of either:

  • At least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction.
  • At least twenty-two clock hours a week, if the dominant part of the course of study consists of shop or laboratory work.

Practical Training: Skills application in conjunction with class instruction occurs throughout the program of study and is not measured, e.g., beauticians cutting hair after being told how.

Note: Only after program completion.

SEVP certifies flight training providers that hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Agency Certificate under Part 141 and/or an FAA Training Center Certificate under Part 142.

F-1

Flight Training Providers

At least twelve semester or quarter hours per academic term, when all students enrolled for a minimum of twelve semester or quarter hours are considered full-time for administrative purposes.

On-campus:

  • Up to 20 hours per week when school is in session.
  • May work full time during school vacations and breaks.

Off-campus: Must complete one academic year as an F-1 student before eligible.

Internship with an International Organization: Regulation does not require prior enrollment or limit hours per week.

Practical Training: Must complete academic year at an SEVP-certified school before eligible for:

  • CPT
  • OPT

SEVP certifies flight training providers that hold an FAA Air Agency Certificate under Part 141 and/or an FAA Training Center Certificate under Part 142.