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International Students and Online Education

UNM Online provides international students the freedom to earn their degree without leaving home. If you are not a U.S. citizen and live outside the United States, you can take online courses without having to apply for a student visa or take on the cost of immigrating to the United States. This provides you the opportunity to earn a degree from an accredited research university with a commitment to diversity and lifelong learning.


There are some issues you should consider before enrolling in online courses or degree programs with UNM Online:

  • If you are an international student in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, only three credit hours of online education per semester can count toward the minimum full-time enrollment requirement. The number of credit hours required for full-time status differs for undergraduate and graduate students. Students are permitted to take more than one online course, but only three credit hours online will count towards full-time enrollment. For more information, please refer to the enrollment rules provided by UNM’s Global Education Office.
  • If you are a student living outside the U.S. and are not a U.S. citizen, taking an online course or program from UNM will not qualify you for either a visa or for work authorization in the U.S. following your chosen program of study.
  • International students seeking admission to UNM will have to demonstrate proficiency in English by taking the TOEFL exam (minimum scores are dependent on the degree program you select).
  • Not all countries or professions accept degrees obtained through distance education as sufficient for educational experience. It is crucial that you contact your country's education department and appropriate professional licensing bodies before enrolling with UNM Online in order to determine whether an online degree is right for you.

While we carefully track issues related to international authorization and licensure, it is the student’s responsibility to understand the requirements for whether an online degree will be recognized in the student’s country of residence and/or any country in which the student intends to work; how the collection of student data may be used in that country; and whether there are any tax implications in addition to the price of tuition. For a full explanation of visa requirements and limitations, please contact the UNM Global Education Office.