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Reduced Course Load

Students in the US on F-1 and J-1 visas are required to carry a full program of study each semester: a minimum of 12 hours for undergraduate students and 9 hours for graduate students.

When it is necessary for students to drop below full-time for the very limited and specific reasons allowed by regulations, they must receive prior approval from a Designated School Official (DSO) in Bradley Hall. This is done by submitting the Reduced Course Load e-form in iCAT.  A student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of the DSO will be considered out of status.

Acceptable reasons for reduced credit load include:

  • Initial academic difficulties due to unfamiliarity with American teaching methods, English difficulties, or improper course level placement (one semester only).
  • Undergraduate students in their final semester of study before graduation.
  • Graduate students in their final semester of course work.
  • Students who have a medical problem certified by a physician or clinical psychologist (maximum of two semesters; number of course hours determined by physician).

Students requesting RCL based on a medical condition should submit a letter from a U.S. licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist with all the following information:

  • Student's Name
  • Semester for Recommended Reduced Course Load
  • Estimated length of condition
  • Recommendation for no enrollment or part time enrollment
  • Health Care Provider’s Name
  • Signature
  • Date of Signature
  • Address and phone number of doctor

    Suspension from School
    Students who are suspended from the University for any reason, may not stay legally in the U.S. during the duration of suspension. Students who suspect that they might be suspended at the end of the academic term should check their academic status with their respective colleges before leaving the country on vacation. If they return and discover that they have been suspended, they will lose their student status, and their stay in the US will be considered illegal. To regain student status would then involve leaving the country and re-entering again with a new SEVIS I-20 when the suspension was lifted.

    NOTE: The 60-day grace period does not apply to students who do not complete their program

    To request reduced course load, fill out the "Reduced Course Load" form in iCAT.