Academic Issues

International students in F-1 status must complete a full-time unit load each Fall, Winter and Spring quarter at Foothill College (you are not required to enroll in classes during the summer). A full-time load is defined as 12 units each quarter. Please note that you must be enrolled in 12 units by Friday of the second week of the quarter.
12-Unit Requirement
Class grades of A, B, C, D, F, P (Pass) or NP (No Pass) count toward the 12-unit total. However, class grades of W (Withdrawal), Drop and I (Incomplete) do not count toward the 12 units. Be very careful about your full-time load as an international student! You may want to drop (withdraw, or take a "W") a class during the quarter; however, if dropping a class will cause you to fall under 12 units, you must not drop it. Instead, you must take the grade, even if it is an F. You can always repeat the class the next quarter to receive a better grade. The better grade will replace the F in your GPA, but the F will appear on your transcript.
What is the difference between a "W" grade and an "F" grade?
A grade of "W" does not count toward the 12- unit requirement. A grade of "F" counts toward the 12-unit requirement. If you find yourself in a situation where a drop or withdrawal from the class may cause you to have fewer than 12 units, it may be best for you to take an "F" for the class rather than a drop or withdrawal.
But did you also know that your instructor or school may withdraw or drop you from a class during the quarter without warning you about it?
Sometimes instructors may drop or withdraw you from a class without your knowledge. This can be done for a variety of reasons: failure to report to the first class session; excessive absences during the quarter; failure to submit assignments; and as an alternative to giving the student an "F." The school may drop you for non-payment of tuition and fees or for disciplinary reasons. If you feel that you may be dropped from a class involuntarily, please consult with your instructor, international academic counselor and immigration advisor, Arthur Levine.
Permission to complete less than 12 units in a quarter
There are a few circumstances under which immigration regulations allow F-1 students to drop below 12 units only with a prior permission of the immigration advisor:
  • Academic difficulties
  • Medical Condition
  • Last quarter of study: if you are completing all of the requirements for your designated program of study at Foothill College and are enrolled in all of the classes needed to complete the program.
Authorization from the immigration advisor to drop below 12 units must be obtained before you drop below 12 units. Please visit the International Student Office to discuss your plans and to inquire about the authorization procedure.
Changing Majors
Make sure that our office has your correct major in our records as well as on your I-20. Your major refers to the program you are studying at Foothill College and not what you plan to study after you leave Foothill.
If you want to change or have already changed your major, immigration regulations require that you notify the International Student Office within 10 days of making the change.
You will need to complete a Change of Record Form in the International Student Office. We will issue a new I-20 for you reflecting the new major. An e-mail notification will be sent to you when your I-20 is ready to be picked up.
Online Classes
Immigration regulations state that students in F-1 status can enroll in no more than one online class as part of your first 12 units each quarter. Please consult with an immigration advisor if you have any questions.
Taking Classes at Another School
If you plan to take classes at another school while you are in the United States on a Foothill I-20, you must obtain permission from the International Student Office in advance.
Statement about 120-day suspension of refugee programs and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. (PDF)
140 FHDA international students accepted to UCLA, 94 to UC Berkeley, 344 to UC San Diego, 385 to UC Davis for Fall 2015; 72 to USC for Fall 2014! Our students were also accepted to MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Purdue, NYU, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and more!

International student featured in International Educator magazine article on 2+2 transfer success

Received Export Achievement Award from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 2012

Find out more about our Transfer Agreements(pdf).

Foothill is now an
iTEP Test Center.
Instead of TOEFL/IELTS,
Take iTEP for admission.