International Student Guidelines for Ecampus Online Courses

Students with F-1 or J-1 visa

  • International students in the United States with F-1 or J-1 visas must maintain full-time enrollment (at least 12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits graduate) at OSU. Of the required full-time enrollment, only 3 credits can be taken as Ecampus online coursework.
  • F-1 or J-1 students may engage in part-time (up to 20 hours per week) employment on the OSU campus while classes are in session and full-time (40 hours per week) between terms and during the summer vacation.
  • F-1 or J-1 students will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) unless the period of time spent on the OSU campus is minimum 3 terms or 9 months.
  • International students studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa inside the US are not allowed to enroll in an Ecampus degree.

Other than an F-1 or J-1 visa

  • If your visa type allows study (H-4, L-2, E-2, R-2, etc.), you may register for part-time or full-time Ecampus online courses.
  • If your visa type is H-1, study is limited to part-time only.
  • If your visa type is F-2, full-time study is not allowed due to Federal Regulations. Part time study is permitted.
  • If your visa type is B-2, study is not allowed due to Federal Regulations.

No visa required if...

International students are accessing online courses/programs from outside the U.S. with the intent to stay outside of the U.S. These students are not required to obtain a visa.

You may apply for part-time or full-time studies, with no visa required, if you will only be taking online studies through Ecampus and will not be entering the U.S. for studies. If you are enrolled in online studies, there is no need to enter the U.S. for academic purposes. Your deadline for admission to OSU will be the same date as for international students currently in the U.S. on F-1 student visas.

Students who wish to continue their studies on-campus at OSU

If you are an international applicant outside the United States, with the intent to enter the United States at some point during your online degree program, the following pertains:

  • While you are taking online courses from outside the United States, you will not be required to have a visa.
  • If you would like to attend classes on campus at OSU, you must apply for university admission, and prior to entering the United States you must obtain a form I-20 from the University. You must then apply for the F-1 Student Visa for entry into the United States.
  • Once you are admitted and taking courses at the university, you must maintain full-time enrollment at OSU. A maximum of 3 credits of your full-time enrollment can be online coursework through Ecampus. (See additional guidelines in section above for students with F-1 or J-1 Visas.)

Important Links

If you have questions, please contact International Admissions at or contact an advisor from the Office of International Services & Advising Services at

OSU International Programs helps students planning to study or conduct research in other countries, assists international students and scholars coming to OSU, and provides English language training.

The cost of Ecampus classes is not covered by your exchange program. You will be personally responsible for paying their additional cost if you choose to take any Ecampus courses.