A full-time student is one who meets the credit requirement to attain this status at a college, which is typically 12 credits in a semester for an undergraduate student. For a graduate student, the normal requirement for full-time status is 9 credits per semester.
For doctoral students, full-time status is typically based on status granted by the institution since the student works toward a thesis and dissertation rather than taking typical classes. Full-time student status impacts financial aid for students. It also affects such things as life insurance, car insurance and taxes. A student must complete the appropriate number of classes to retain full-time status.