Student Support

Frequently Asked Questions

International Student Information


Find answers to commonly asked questions to assist you as an international student at UCLA Extension.

International Programs

Certificate students must intend to complete the full certificate and will only be able to take specific courses that are required to complete their certificate. Students cannot diverge from the courses prescribed for their certificate program and must select courses that are within their program.

Study Abroad students can select courses from the entire UCLA Extension catalog and determine how long (or short) they want to study with UCLA Extension.

Anyone, at any age, can participate in a Study Abroad Program at UCLA Extension. Study Abroad programs allow students to select classes from the entire UCLA Extension catalog and attend for one quarter, two, three, or more! We even welcome domestic students (usually undergraduates) who are interested in a domestic study away program and want additional support and programming. 

Yes. UCLA Extension's credit-bearing courses are preceded by an “X” or “XL.” Courses preceded by XL are essentially copies of UCLA courses. Courses preceded by X are not offered at UCLA but have been reviewed and approved by the UCLA Academic Senate for credit.

Undergraduate courses are typically numbered 0-199, and post-baccalaureate and professional-level courses are numbered 300-499. Detailed information on course numbers, XL, X, and XLC courses can be found here.

UCLA Extension courses are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

UCLA Extension credit-bearing courses and approved programs meet UCLA standards of excellence and are approved by the UCLA Academic Senate.

UCLA Extension offers several undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and professional credit-bearing courses. Students should identify courses based on their level of study prior to beginning their study abroad experience at UCLA Extension.

If the student intends on transferring credits back to their home university, they should check with their home university before enrolling in classes to confirm that the courses selected will be eligible for transfer credits.

You are responsible for checking with your home university to be certain that courses you take at UCLA or UCLA Extension will be accepted for transfer credit.

You need to show proof (transcripts and course descriptions in English) that you have met the prerequisites for any course in which you want to enroll.

UCLA Campus Courses, also known as Concurrent Enrollment Courses, are courses taught on the main UCLA campus. UCLA Extension Study Abroad students are eligible to enroll in undergraduate courses offered by the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences. The College offers a wide variety of courses in the Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. If business courses are of primary interest to you, consider our Study Abroad at UCLA Business Tracks program. 

All UCLA Extension or UCLA concurrent courses offer academic credit that can be transferred back to their home university toward their bachelor's degree.

Restricted UCLA Programs and Courses

It is important to note concurrent courses have a higher tuition rate and placements are competitive and not guaranteed. UCLA Extension Study Abroad students must also meet course prerequisites and have the instructor's consent to enroll. Please also note that restrictions apply to some courses and programs.

You will not be able to enroll in any graduate-level courses or courses offered by UCLA professional schools: the Anderson School of Management, School of Law, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Public Affairs, School of Public Health, Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, or Nursing, School of Theatre, Film & Television.

No. You can enroll in courses only if there is space available and if you have permission to enroll; matriculated UCLA students have priority over Study Abroad students.

There is no advance enrollment in UCLA courses for Study Abroad students. Enrollments will not be finalized until the second or third week of the quarter. However, you may enroll in UCLA Extension courses in advance. We recommend that you visit classes in the first week to make sure that you like the course and the instructor.

One to three weeks is the average time to complete the enrollment process. During the course registration period, you will need to be patient, continue to attend the course regularly, and complete all course assignments.

You can enroll in up to one online course per quarter toward your full-time minimum of 12 units. You must be enrolled in at least two in-person courses in addition to the online course. 

If you are attending UCLA Extension outside of the U.S. you can enroll in online courses.

Yes, if you are studying in person. Students must complete a returning student application for each quarter they attend UCLA Extension. If you don't complete the returning application, you will not be admitted into the program and will no longer be enrolled as a UCLA Extension student. This will impact your F-1 student visa status. Students should not register for any courses until they have completed their returning student application and are fully admitted into their program. Study Abroad students who want to add an additional quarter (or more) of study at UCLA Extension should contact the International Programs office early on to discuss the steps to extend their program.

Certificate students must intend to complete the full certificate and will only be able to take specific courses that are required to complete their certificate. Students cannot diverge from the courses prescribed for their certificate program and must select courses that are within their program.

You have some options. Anyone, at any age, can participate in a Study Abroad Program at UCLA Extension. Study Abroad programs allow students to select classes from the entire UCLA Extension catalog and attend for one quarter, two, three, or more! 

You could also participate in a Study Abroad program for your first quarter (and select the classes you want to take outside of a certificate program) and then apply for a full certificate program as a second program at UCLA Extension.

Student Life

Your status as a UCLA Extension student allows you to use the UCLA Library during normal library hours and to borrow books. Students also have access to UCLA recreational facilities. UCLA Extension students are not entitled to discounts for UCLA sporting events or for UCLA transportation passes.

Many students prefer to make housing arrangements before arriving in Los Angeles; others prefer to arrive a week or two early and find housing after they arrive. Although it is convenient to live near the UCLA campus, housing accommodations near UCLA are usually expensive. UCLA Extension cannot assume responsibility for housing arrangements or for housing contracts.

Learn more about housing.

International students on F-1 visas are permitted to work only on the UCLA campus, and student employment is limited to 20 hours per week. Employment opportunities on the UCLA campus are limited.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition (course) fees are the tuition costs per course. The fees vary depending on the course enrolled. The International Program Fee is due every quarter.

It is important to note: Tuition fees are paid for separately and in addition to the International Program Fees.

Yes. Tuition costs are not calculated into the International Program Fee. Each UCLA Extension class has its own individual price and materials/books. Students are responsible for deciding which classes they want to take at UCLA Extension and pay for each course selected.

International students participating in an in-person UCLA Extension International Program will be charged International Program Fees in addition to the fees outlined on the individual program web pages. This fee includes a variety of services, programs and activities, and access to campus facilities. The fee does not include tuition, the certificate candidacy fee (if applicable), or housing costs.

The International Program fee includes:

  • UCLA Bruincard (student ID card)
  • Library card
  • Comprehensive immigration advising on F-1 status maintenance
  • CPT and OPT application support (when eligible)
  • Culturally-rich international student activities
  • Immersive international student orientation
  • Receptions, networking activities, and a graduation celebration for certificate students
  • Housing referrals and resources
  • Bruin Promise - Alumni Network Membership

The International Student Fee is paid each quarter. Tuition and course fees are paid in addition to the International Program Fee each term and vary based on which courses are selected.

The International Program Fees charged by UCLA Extension for international students enrolled in certificate and study abroad programs are higher than fees for U.S. and California residents. That is because the higher fees cover the costs of providing additional student services for international students, such as visa support, access to campus services, advising support (academic, visa, housing, etc.), and social and cultural programming developed specifically for international students. These higher fees are common for public institutions in the U.S. 

Fees for California residents are lower than fees for non-residents and international students because all California residents pay state taxes and those tax dollars support the state universities. UCLA and other California State Universities are subsidized by these tax dollars paid by California residents.

The estimated costs for certificate programs is available on our website. The “​​Estimated Tuition and Fees” includes the International Program Fee plus the estimated cost of courses.

Immigration and F-1 Visa

It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the terms of your immigration status during your stay in the United States. A violation of immigration regulations (for example, failure to maintain a full-time course load or unauthorized employment) could jeopardize your F-1 status and legal stay in the U.S. Review this information carefully and contact International Student Services (ISS) at if you have questions.


Once your student visa is granted by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, it becomes activated, thereby granting you F-1 “status” when you lawfully enter the U.S. at the port of entry. To be in F-1 “status” means that you are legally in the U.S. and have benefits and restrictions outlined in the immigration regulations for the F-1 visa category. You gain status either by entering the U.S. with F-1 documents or, for people already in the U.S. in a different status, by applying to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status.

Your admission to the U.S. is for the “duration of status,” meaning the length of your F-1 status. F-1 status covers the period when:

  • You are a full-time registered student making normal progress toward program completion
  • Plus an optional period of practical training following completion of studies (if you are eligible and apply for OPT)
  • Plus a 60-day “grace period” to prepare to depart the U.S. or change to another status; the grace period starts when you complete your program or your OPT period

Your length of authorized stay within the U.S. is not related to your F-1 visa expiration date. Your length of authorized stay depends on you following the F-1 rules.

The F-1 visa is specifically for entry into the U.S. After you are in the U.S. the F-1 visa might expire before your status expires, or your status might end before your visa expires.

Federal law requires you to carry “registration documents” at all times, including your I-20, passport, and a copy of your I-94 Arrival/Departure record. Below is an overview of the documents related to your F-1 status. For day-to-day purposes, we suggest that these documents be kept in a secure location such as a safe, and you should carry photocopies. However, if you are traveling outside the Los Angeles area you should carry the original documents with you. If you are traveling by air, train, bus, or ship, you may be required to show these documents before boarding. Keep photocopies of all your documents in a separate location in the event your documents are lost or stolen.

  • Passport - Your passport must be valid and unexpired at all times. Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place, such as a safe.
  • Visa - The visa is the stamp that the U.S. consular officer placed on a page in your passport. The visa permitted you to apply for admission into the U.S. as an F-1 student.
  • Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility - Issued by International Student Services at UCLA Extension, this document allows you to apply for an F-1 visa if you are outside the U.S, apply for F-1 status within the U.S., enter and reenter the U.S. in F-1 status, as well as prove your eligibility for various F-1 benefits.
  • I-94 Arrival & Departure Record - When you enter the U.S., you are issued an admission stamp in your passport and an electronic I-94 Arrival/Departure record will be created, recording your entry into the U.S. You can obtain a printout of your I-94 record on the I-94 Website.

Many types of updates must be reported to the Department of Homeland Security through SEVIS and must be changed on your I-20. Notify ISS of the following changes and request an updated I-20. Keep every I-20 for your permanent record, even after you complete your program. Below is a list of other information you need to report or update with International Student Services:

  • Program Extension Requests: If you are unable to complete your course of study before the completion date noted in item 5 on your I-20, you must request an extended I-20 before your current I-20 expires. For more information and instructions, please contact ISS.
  • Transferring Schools: You must register full-time at UCLA Extension as UCLA Extension issued your I-20 and oversees your SEVIS record. If you decide to transfer to another school, contact ISS prior to completing your final quarter at Extension.
  • Change of Certificate Program: If you are accepted into a new certificate program or if you decide to change your certificate program, you must request a new I-20. For more information, please visit the “How to Apply” page of our website.
  • Name Change: The name on your I-20 should match the name on your passport. If you change any part of your legal name—first/given name, middle name, or last/family name—on your passport, this change should be reflected on your I-20. Conversely, if you want a different name on your I-20, ISS will wait for you to change your passport first, before updating the I-20. Note that SEVIS is a separate database from the UCLA Extension database.
  • Change of Address: Any change of address must be reported to ISS within 10 days of the move and will be updated in SEVIS. Updating your address in the Student Portal does not notify ISS of the change, so please contact ISS, as well. Your local U.S. address must be your physical address, not a P.O. Box.

In general, F-1 students must be registered full-time. This is defined as at least 12 units each quarter. Only one online/remote course may count towards the full-time minimum units each quarter.

Certificate Programs: You are only allowed to take courses in your chosen certificate program, advancing your studies toward program completion. If you are in the final quarter of your certificate program and only need one (1) course to complete your program, it must be in person. It cannot be in an online modality. Please contact ISS to make sure they are aware you are in your final quarter.

Study Abroad Programs: You must take 12 units per quarter to be in full-time status.

Do not register for fewer than the required number of units or withdraw from a course without first receiving permission from ISS. Unauthorized part-time study is a violation of your F-1 visa status.

In certain circumstances, a less-than-full-time course load may be approved. This is called a “Reduced Course Load” (RCL) and must be requested from ISS prior to dropping or withdrawing from courses. There are very few and specific reasons for an RCL to be granted, which are either academic or medically related.

Certificate Programs: In your final quarter of study, you may register for less than the required 12 units, if less units are needed to complete your program.

Study Abroad Programs: You must always maintain 12 units during your quarter program of study.

Earning an F grade in a class is not the end of the world. However, to maintain status, as an F-1 student, you are also required to “make normal progress.” 

Certificate Programs: Making normal progress includes, but is not limited to, enrolling in the proper courses required for program completion, maintaining satisfactory academic progress (maintaining a 2.0 or higher each quarter), and continually meeting all institutional enrollment requirements.

Study Abroad Programs: Making normal progress includes choosing and registering for courses approved by your home institution; engaging in all coursework and completing your coursework within your program’s quarter of study. Your earned grades will be evaluated by your home institution.

“Employment” is any work performed or services provided (including self-employment) in exchange for money or other benefits or compensation (for example, free room and board in exchange for babysitting). Unauthorized employment is taken very seriously by U.S. immigration officials. For any questions about employment, contact ISS before accepting any work that you are not sure is authorized.

  • You may work on-campus up to 20 hours per week (part-time) while school is in session, and more than 20 hours per week (full-time) during a vacation quarter and between quarters, provided you continue as a student the following quarter.
  • Employment off-campus must be authorized in advance and in accordance with specific procedures outlined in federal regulations.
  • “Volunteering” at a job that is traditionally paid may be considered a violation of status. Don’t work “for free” without first consulting your ISS advisor.

On-campus jobs are limited and competitive.

At the port of entry to the U.S., you must present:

  • An unexpired I-20 endorsed (signed) for travel within the last 6 months by an ISS adviser. The travel signature is located on page 2 of the form
  • Passport with unexpired F-1 visa inside
  • Evidence of finances (recommended)
  • Copy of your transcript and current course schedule

Please note that if you are outside the U.S. for more than one quarter, or on Optional Practical Training, you may have additional requirements.

Your spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 may be eligible for F-2 dependent visa status, and you may request Forms I-20 for your family members at the time of your application to UCLA Extension.

Immigration regulations do not permit F-2 dependents to be employed in the U.S. F-2 dependents can study part-time in an academic or vocational curriculum at an SEVP-certified school. F-2 dependents can also study in vocational or recreational programs (hobbies). F-2 dependents may enroll full-time in kindergarten through 12th grade.

An F-2 dependent who wants to pursue full-time study must obtain F-1 status to begin the full-time program.

The end of your academic program affects your F-1 status. After you complete your program you have a 60-day grace period. A grace period is a designated period of time that you are able to remain in the U.S. after your program end date. Within this 60-day period you have the following options:

  • Seek work authorization through OPT (if eligible)
  • Transfer to a new school
  • Change your visa status
  • Plan for your return home

If you do not complete your educational objective (for example, if you withdraw from your program), you are not eligible for the 60-day grace period. Contact your ISS adviser in this situation.

At any point during your grace period, if you depart the U.S., your F-1 visa status ends and you will not be able to return to the U.S. in F-1 status. You will need to seek a different visa status to reenter.

If you violate immigration regulations, your immigration record will be terminated, resulting in the loss of F-1 visa status.

There are a few paths to correct a potential visa violation. The appropriate option will depend on your individual circumstances. Consult your ISS adviser as soon as possible for more information. For more complicated cases, we strongly recommend that students consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

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