In the U.S.

Fall 2020 Dates & Instructional Method

Miami University will begin the Fall 2020 semester on August 17th. The University originally planned to start fall semester on August 24th, but will now begin classes one week earlier. This shift will better ensure the health and safety of our campus community by allowing the completion of all classes before Thanksgiving break. Following the break, all final exams will be completed remotely. Review the updated academic calendar dates.

Instructors have been asked to grant flexibility for students who cannot arrive until the original term start date, but ISSS encourages international students to make every effort to arrive on time for the semester or earlier when feasible. Students living on campus should check their email for instructions from the Office of Residence Life regarding Miami Move-In. There will be a staggered move-in schedule.

Miami University will offer in person, hybrid, and online courses. ISSS encourages international students to review their course schedule and confirm the format of each course by logging into MyMiami, navigating to BannerWeb, selecting Student Services & FinancialStudent Detail ScheduleFall 2020. Your courses should display and each course should indicate a mode of instruction. However, it’s possible there may be some changes to course format as the University shifts and responds to the need for social distancing. The fall semester schedule is expected to be updated approximately July 21st.

Enrollment Requirements

On July 6, 2020 the U.S.. government announced guidance for Fall 2020. Miami University is offering a hybrid model of operation (mixture of in person, hybrid, and online classes) for Fall 2020. In order to maintain legal status, international students who are in the U.S.. must:

  1. Enroll full-time (12 credits for undergraduate students; 9 credits for graduate students)
  2. Enrollment must include at least one in-person course that meets for the full duration of the semester
  3. While more than one online course is permitted, guidance suggests you should enroll in the “minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program”.

ExceptionPer regulations, students in language training programs (ACE and English Language Center) are not permitted to enroll in any online courses if studying in the U.S..

The U.S.. government has confirmed that no international student may remain in the U.S.. and enroll in a 100% online course load for Fall 2020. If you plan to enroll in all online courses for fall semester, you must depart the U.S.. prior to the start of the semester. For additional information, please see ISSS guidance on study outside the U.S..

Definition of In Person

Courses coded as in-person or hybrid may meet the in-person requirement depending on their primary mode of instruction. ISSS defines coursework as meeting the in-person requirement when the course meets partially (at least 50% of the time) or fully (100%) in person. Courses that meet primarily through distance education (60% or more online) do not meet the in-person requirement. Review course formats in the Course List.

Is my course in-person or online?
Mode of Delivery In-Person or Online?
On Campus (Face to Face) In-Person
Hybrid Depends. Hybrid courses that meet in person at least 50% of the time are considered in-person courses. Hybrid courses that meet primarily through distance (60% or more online) are considered online. To confirm the percentage of specific hybrid courses, contact ISSS or your divisional academic advising office.
Interactive Video Distance Learning Online
Online Online

How much in-person coursework is required?

The guidance does not provide a specific number of credits, which seems to indicate there is flexibility. It states that students may not enroll only in online classes. However, there is also a statement that students should enroll in the “minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program”.

Other Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does grading mode matter?

No. We have always considered any course that is standard letter or credit/no-credit to count towards maintenance of status. That will not change.

Does course subject matter?

As long as a course contributes to degree progress, we do not anticipate restrictions on types of courses students choose. Most undergraduate students require elective credits to meet the minimum credit threshold for graduation.

Are graduate students able to register in research credits to meet the requirement?

The guidance does not address this question directly. However, ISSS has always considered graduate students in the thesis or dissertation stage of their programs who are registered in research credits to be meeting the in-person requirement. It is crucial those courses have a high level of interaction with faculty advisors and not be coded as online.

Can students seeking a reduced course load due to final semester register only in online credits?

No, they must still meet the in-person requirement in order to maintain their legal status (if remaining in the U.S..) for fall semester. Students who wish to enroll fully online may do so from outside the U.S..

Do I have to leave the U.S. for my final exams?

Many hybrid schools have decided to complete in-person courses prior to Thanksgiving break and conduct final exams remotely. A key phrase in the ICE guidance is “mid-semester”. This change in Miami’s instruction method falls at the end of our semester. All course instruction will be complete on November 20th with only final exam requirements remaining. Therefore, we consider our international students to be eligible to remain in the U.S.. and maintain their status.


The U.S.. government is requiring that ISSS report that individual students are:

  1. Present in the U.S.. (or able to return to the U.S.. for study)
  2. Enrolled full-time
  3. Making normal academic progress
  4. Enrolled either partially or fully in in-person courses

In order to meet these reporting requirements, ISSS is requesting that all international students submit an e-form to be available in late July confirming:

  1. Study plans
  2. Location of study

ISSS will announce when the form is available through our newsletter.

Students who cannot meet all four criteria listed above for personal, academic, or other reasons such as travel restrictions and visa issuance, will be unable to maintain F-1 legal status. Instead, ISSS will be required to terminate their legal status (I-20). When students are ready or able to return to the U.S.. for in person study in a future semester, ISSS will assist them with navigating the return process and obtaining a new visa document. Submission of the e-form that will be available in late July will help ensure you receive the necessary information about returning to Miami.

As a reminder, having your I-20 terminated does not prohibit you from enrolling at Miami in online coursework from abroad. Review the options for studying at Miami from outside the U.S..


Universities as well as multiple states have filed lawsuits challenging the ICE guidance. The judge indicated there may be an update as soon as July 15th. These legal challenges mean that the situation is subject to change. We will continue to keep this website updated with changes.