Current Students


Your academic success is important to Rush University.  Visit our Center for Academic Excellence to sign up for peer tutoring, writing tutoring, workshops, and webinars.  

Maintaining Your F-1 Status
  • Pursue a full course of study.  At Rush, graduate students are considered full-time when registered for at least nine credit hours per term.   PhD, professional doctorate, and master’s students completing dissertations, externships or theses, respectively, may be considered full-time if they meet the following conditions each term: A) register for nine or more graduate-level credit hours; or B) register for a minimum of two credit hours of dissertation, externship or thesis coursework. Undergraduate students are considered full-time when registered for at least twelve credit hours per term.  International students should review the full course of study definition from the University Catalog. F-1 students in their final term needing less than a full course of study to complete their program do not need to enroll full-time. Student must be enrolled in at least one required class in this situation.
  • Comply with current federal regulations for the 2022-2023 academic year regarding online enrollment limits. F-1 students who began their study in the U.S. after March 9, 2020 are limited to no more than the equivalent of one fully online class (three credits) towards the full course of study requirement, each term or semester.
  • International students who were enrolled at a U.S. university with an active F-1 SEVIS record on March 9, 2020 may enroll in a schedule that is mostly or fully online if they have continuously complied with the terms of their F-1 status.
  • Students in their final semester are not permitted to have a schedule that is fully online unless they were actively enrolled as an F-1 student since March 9, 2020 and have continuously maintained their status.
  • For immigration purposes, a class which is hybrid and has in-person required components for classes, examinations, or other purposes integral to completion of the class does not count as “online”.
  • International students who are enrolled in hybrid or hyflex courses must follow their College’s instructions on attendance.
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States website is an essential source of immigration information for international students, including course of study requirements.
  • Please visit Student Resources for links to government guidance related to the pandemic and contact International Student Services for any questions.
  • Apply for I-20 program extension, if necessary, prior to program end date. If you consulted with your College and your College has approved a new program end date, please submit an I-20 Request for Program Extension at least 30 days before your I-20 expires. The “program end date” on your I-20 should always match your actual program end date. 
  • Maintain valid documents. Your passport and Form I-94 must always be valid. Your passport should always have at least 6 months of validity, especially in order to re-enter the U.S.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days of the change. U.S. regulation mandates F-1 visa holders report a change of address within 10 days of a move.  Please keep your U.S. address updated in your student portal and email to notify us of a change in your U.S. address. 
  • Receive authorization in advance of all employment.  Please be sure to speak to the International Student Services before accepting any employment. Unauthorized employment will result in a terminated I-20.
Be Connected

Join a student organization or affinity group, drop by Student Life and Engagement to visit, study or grab a snack, connect with Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and be sure to participate in Welcome Back Week. Off-campus you may want to volunteer, celebrate a Chicago summer through Summer Programming, neighborhood festivals, summer danceconcerts in the park or by enjoying a city market.  If building a boat, learning how to swim or signing up for a community garden plot would help you to unwind then we recommend checking out Chicago Park District.

Be Healthy

Being a student is hard work and we at Rush University want to ensure you feel supported every step of the way. We recommend connecting with the Center for Clinical Wellness for wellness and mental health services and more, and the University Fitness Center for living fit. Rush Wellness Assistance Program is a comprehensive, system-wide resource for all Rush employees, students and their families, providing 24/7 confidential, free counseling by phone or a telehealth appointment as well as legal support, dependent care and financial planning. For any health benefit questions, please reach out to Rush University’s Student Insurance Program

Reduced Course Load

In certain circumstances F-1 visa holders may be authorized to take less than a full course of study. Be sure to submit the Request for Reduced Course Load Authorization form and speak to International Student Services before reducing your course load in order to properly maintain your F-1 status.

  • Illness or medical condition – Students with medical authorization from a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist may be granted an aggregate of no more than 12 months of authorized reduced course load.  Students who are excused from all courses must also complete a Rush University Petition for Leave of Absence form.
  • Academic difficulties  - Students in their initial academic term may be authorized for a reduced course load due to improper course level placement, initial difficulty with reading requirements, initial difficulty with the English language, or unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods.
  • To complete course of study in current term – Students in their final term needing less than a full course of study to complete their program may have a reduced course load. Student must be enrolled in at least one required class.
Annual Vacation

After completing one full academic year of study at Rush, F-1 students may be interested in the possibility of an annual vacation. Most programs at Rush University are continuous enrollment, so you are likely required to take courses over the summer. Please speak to your Academic Advisor, Program Coordinator, or Program Director, as applicable, if you would like to see if your program can accomodate for an authorized annual vacation. 

Please note that during an annual vacation, students can take as many, as few or no courses as they want. SEVP considers all study during an annual vacation “incident to status”.


On-campus Employment

F-1 students are eligible to work on-campus up to 20 hour per week while school is in session.  Employment within the Rush University Medical Center system is considered on-campus employment; however, employment through the Federal Work-Study program is not open to F-1 students.

Contact Us

International Student Services Armour Academic Center, Suite 440 600 S. Paulina Chicago, IL 60612

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone: (312) 942-2030