Reduced Course Loads

Students in F-1 immigration status are required to maintain full-time status (12 credits per semester) with a few exceptions listed below and described by Federal Regulations. You are required to obtain approval from the ISSO prior to dropping below 12 credits. If you will not meet these requirements for any of the scenarios listed below, you are not permitted to enroll in less than 12 credits without violating your F-1 status. If you are uncertain if you qualify for a reduced course load, please email the ISSO for an appointment with your advisor.


Academic Difficulties

  • Initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements in the first year of attendance.

  • Unfamiliarity with teaching methods in the United States.

  • Improper course level placement.

If you experience difficulty with any of these, please consult a member of the ISSO, your Academic Services advisor, or your faculty advisor.


Medical Conditions

You may apply for a reduced course load if you have a temporary medical condition or illness that would require you to enroll in less than full-time courses or no courses at all. You must provide medical documentation issued within the past 30 days from your licensed professional holding one of the following credentials:  medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), or licensed clinical psychologist (LCP) who is practicing in the United States.  The documentation is usually in the form of a letter and should specify if it is recommended that you enroll in a part-time course load or in no credits. 


Final Semester of Study

F-1 students may be enrolled in less than 12 credits in their final semester of study provided all degree requirements have been met. No additional authorization or paperwork is required but we recommend you meet with your faculty advisor or Academic Services advisor to confirm that you have met all graduation requirements.