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University Requirements

All F-1 and J-1 students must pursue a full-time course of study unless otherwise specifically authorized by International Services. International Services must be informed of and approve of any drop below full time. Full-time status for undergraduates is 12 credit hours per semester. Full-time status for graduate students is 9 credit hours per semester. 

International Services may authorize a student for part-time enrollment for the following reasons:

  • Initial difficulty with the English language
  • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
  • Improper course level placement
  • Fewer courses are needed to complete full course of study (only possible in final term for undergraduate students)
  • Medical condition (must have doctor's request/recommendation)

A note regarding online classes:

  • F-1 students are not permitted to take more that 3 credits of online classes toward their full course of study.
  • J-1 students are not permitted to take any online courses toward their full course of study.

See your academic adviser or major professor to plan your course schedule accordingly.

Please notify International Services before departing:

  • If you are going abroad on a study-abroad program.
  • If you are going to another school in the U.S. on the National Exchange Program.
  • If you are intending to research abroad to complete your thesis/dissertation.
  • If you do not intend to return to school, please complete the Withdrawing from U of I Form.

The International Student Fee, implemented in 2009, allows the staff of International Services to provide a comprehensive package of services and activities to serve and support the growing population of international students at the University.

The International Student Orientation Fee was also implemented in 2009. International Services strives to provide new international students with the greatest assistance possible as they settle into their surroundings in Moscow. As such, attendance at the multi-day international student orientation is required for all new students. This orientation includes a complete immigration workshop, cultural activities, access and information to many important academic, social and health-related resources, and provides several meals and interaction with peers and current students.

The University and the state of Idaho require international students and dependents holding nonimmigrant visas to purchase appropriate health insurance. All information regarding health insurance must be turned in to International Services before the first day of classes. There are two options for purchasing health insurance:

Option A: Purchase the University of Idaho Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP).

  • You are automatically charged for SHIP when you register for classes. You will see SHIP on your bill from the University of Idaho for each semester. You do not have to fill out any forms.
  • If you have dependents then you need to inform International Services if you would like them enrolled in SHIP.
  • Find out the cost of SHIP and details of coverage.

Option B: Purchase an Alternative Medical Insurance.

If you choose to purchase an alternative health insurance, you must:

Please Note: You and your dependents are required to have health insurance the day you enter the U.S. (SHIP covers up to 15 days before classes begin). Complete proof of required coverage is required before a waiver can be processed. If any of the required benefits are not covered under the medical insurance provided, your insurance will be considered inadequate and you will continue to be billed for SHIP when you register for classes.

J-1 students and dependents of students are required to have health insurance that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of State requirements. Those requirements are as follows:

  • Benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • Co-payment amount not greater than 25% so that the insurance pays at least 75% of charges
  • Accident and illness coverage (to include maternity insurance)
  • Repatriation coverage (a type of life insurance whereby the deceased is returned to their home country)
  • Medical evacuation coverage (If the student is too ill to attend school, this pays for the student to return to their home country.)

  • Foreign Embassy Sponsored Students: All embassy sponsored plans that have full medical coverage (pay full medical expenses incurred in the U.S.) are accepted as an authorized alternative plan to SHIP (Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Embassy of the State of Kuwait, Libya, etc.). A sponsor letter stating full medical benefits are paid for the student (and dependents), a copy of the insurance card, and page 1 of the insurance waiver form signed by the student must be submitted to International Services before a SHIP waiver will be processed.
  • Engineering Outreach or other Outreach students (taking only Outreach courses) will automatically have a SHIP waiver because they will not be on the U of I campus. If your insurance was not waived, please email
  • Students at the Idaho State University/University of Idaho Center in Idaho Falls who are registered for classes at Idaho State University (must show Idaho State University registration and insurance) 
  • Washington State University students taking concurrent classes at the University of Idaho are ineligible for SHIP at all times.
  • H-1B or J-1 scholars taking courses at the University of Idaho must show their insurance cards to International Services for a SHIP waiver.
  • Exchange students through another university that are on the University of Idaho Study Abroad Program and are out of the U.S. in another country will not be charged for SHIP insurance.

International Programs Office

Physical Address:
901 Paradise Creek St.
LLC Bldg. #3
Moscow, ID 83844

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 1250
Moscow, ID 83844-1250

COVID-19 Information for international students, employees and scholars

Phone: 208-885-8984

Fax: 208-885-2859