F-2 Students (Part-time only)

F-2 visa holders (the family dependents of F-1 students) are now able to study in the United States on a part-time basis.  F-2 students may study in either non-degree or degree-seeking status. 

Undergraduate Degree Programs:

Graduate Degree Programs:

Non-degree Study - Graduate:

Non-degree Study – Undergraduate:

Post-baccalaureate Programs:

Transient Study: [1]


Academic study as a degree-seeking candidate at CSU will require an F-2 student to meet all university and departmental admissions requirements.   For example, English-language testing requirements and other admissions criteria will remain the same, whether the study is part-time degree, part-time non-degree, part-time certificate, etc.

What is considered part-time study at CSU?

Option A:

  • Undergraduate (including post-baccalaureate) Study:  11 credits or less per semester.
  • Graduate Study:  8 credits or less per semester.

Option B:

  • Intensive English Language Study:  no more than 3 courses per semester.

F-2 study limitations include:

  1. F-2 students may not be enrolled in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) and a CSU academic program at the same time.
  2. F-2 students who are enrolled in the Intensive English Language Program:
    1. Are limited to no more than 3 courses per semester
    2. Will be tested and admitted on a space-available basis
    3. Must complete the entire IELP Level 4 curriculum in order to earn an official Completion Certificate.
  3. F-2 students may not be employed on the CSU campus.  
  4. F-2 students may not participate in internship, practicum, clinical placements, cooperative education, or other forms of educationally-based experiential learning.[2]
  5. F-2 students are not eligible to participate in either F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)[3]

Two Important Enrollment Distinctions for F-2 Students:

  • F-2 students can take online classes; there are no immigration-related restriction for either online or distance-education instruction, and
  • F2 students can study at a college or university of their choice; they are not limited to academic study at the same university as the F-1 student.


For more information about F-2 academic study, please visit the following link:


Prospective F-2 students are encouraged to contact the following CSU offices for assistance:  


CSU Center for International Services and Programs:

CSU Campus 411/All-in-One:

CSU Intensive English Language Program:


[1] Transient Student Status can be at either the undergraduate or graduate levels.

[2] A change of visa status from F-2 to F-1 may be needed; contact the CISP for more information.

[3] F-1 visa status is required for either OPT or CPT participation.