Minimum credits to be taken per trimester to maintain F1 status in a Post professional course


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I am a foreign trained Physical Therapist. I am on H4 right now and intend to go on F1. I am considering taking transitional ( post-professional) Doctor of PT course in a university. It is a 1.5-2 yr course with fall,spring and summer trimesters. Whole course needs me to complete 25 credits with a fixed curriculum and 4-6 credits to be taken every trimester.


I have a few questions:

1. Which one of these is better- go for F1 stamping (at a consulate in home country) or COS? How long does it take for COS?


2. Can I maintain an international full-time student status on F-1 visa if I just take 4-6 credits (depending on what is offered and what I am required to take) a trimester? I am aware that in most graduate programs there's a requirement for an international student to take at least 9 credits per semester to maintain full-time status.(This being a post-professional course)


3. How is the CPT eligibility counted in a trimester system? If I take admission on H4 and then file COS, does the period of study on H4 count towards CPT eligibility requirement of one academic year at a SEVIS school in USA considering the fact, it is going to be a continued education( no breaks between H4 and F1) ?


Thanks in advance.

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