Enrolment status and scheduled breaks for international students

Enrolment status is important to keep in mind when considering your working eligibility, Post-Graduation Work Permit, or taking time away from studies.

Part-time vs Full-time Enrolment

Full-time enrolment means registering and completing a minimum of 9 credits per academic semester. If a student withdraws or receives a W, UN, UNW, FD, or AUD grade the course will NOT count towards the full-time course load. As a clarification note, a grade of ‘F’ does not carry academic credits but counts towards the full-time course load of a student. Please refer to our grading policy for other grades that can count towards a full-time course load.

International students are recommended to complete a minimum of 24 credits per calendar year. We also recommend students to complete their program within the program length. For example, students should complete a 2-year Diploma program in 2 years. 

During Fall and Winter semesters, students should be enrolled full-time in order to maintain working eligibility. Please visit the working page for international students for more info about eligibility. 

* All Hospitality students should register and complete a minimum of 24 credits per year. To meet the Hospitality full-time requirements, additional credits taken during summer semester can count toward full-time enrolment for Fall and Winter semesters. Hospitality students must still maintain 9 credits minimum during Fall and Winter semesters. Please visit the Hospitality program page for more info. 

If you need to take a semester off (less than 150 days) due to extenuating or unforeseen circumstance please contact us.

Scheduled Breaks

IRCC allows each institution to define its own scheduled breaks.

Scheduled Breaks are defined as Study Breaks, Summer semesters and the time between semesters from the day AFTER the exam period until the day BEFORE the first day of class of the next semester. Students are required to enrol in the semesters before and after the scheduled break. For example, if you are taking Summer semester off as your scheduled break, you are required to enrol in the Winter and Fall semesters of the year. 

Please note that Summer semester cannot be your scheduled break if it is your first or last semester in the program that you are currently enrolled in. 

Bachelor’s degree, Associate degree, Diploma and Post-Baccalaureate Diploma programs offered to international students, including the Early Childhood Education Certificate program, are eligible for Summer scheduled breaks. Please note that Post-Degree Diplomas and Certificate programs (excluding the Early Childhood Education Certificate program) are NOT eligible for a scheduled break.  

If you choose to take 2 Post-Degree Diploma programs back to back, you may take one semester off between them as long as the break is no more than 150 days. 

If you are planning to work in summer semester as your scheduled break, please check Working as an International Student page for more information. 

Distance Learning

Starting from Winter 2022 semester onwards, we strongly recommend that students who are inside Canada to complete in-person classes to meet post-graduation work permit eligibility requirements. If you have any questions, please contact one of our International Student Advising Specialists


To support your future applications to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) you can submit our Enrolment Status and Scheduled breaks letter with your application.

[NEW] Thinking about the Summer 2024 enrolment and your working eligibility? Use our Form to learn more!
This questionnaire assumes you are taking courses exclusively at Douglas College. This form is intended for general inquiries only and should not be used as legal immigration document. This form should not be used by Early Childhood Education Certificate students. The burden of proof is on the student to comply with the conditions of your study permit and to ensure your eligibility and compliance.