Reduced Course Load

F-1 students may study part-time under certain circumstances and with the authorization of the International Student Services Coordinator.  Students must get authorization for an RCL before they begin their part-time studies.

Academic Difficulties

  • Initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods
  • Improper course level placement

Authorization for a Reduced Course Load due to academic difficulties is limited to one semester per program level.  Students must return to a full-time course load the following required semester.

If a student is approved for RCL due to academic difficulties, the student must take at least half of the required minimum amount of credit for full-time status.  In the case of undergraduate studies, students on academic RCL must take a minimum of 6 credits for the authorized semester.

Medical Condition

If a student has a documented medical condition they can either take a reduced course load or no course load at all.  The student must provide documentation of the medical condition from a U.S. licensed medical doctor, a doctor of osteopathy, or a licensed clinical psychologist to be approved for a medical RCL.

  • Medical RCL cannot exceed 12 months.  It can be granted in non-consecutive semesters.  For example, a student can take a medical RCL in their Spring semester of Freshman year and then again in their Fall semester of Junior year.  The student must provide documentation each time it is requested.

Final Semester

Students who are in the final semester of their undergraduate program may be authorized to study part-time if the required courses they need to complete their degree do not equal full-time status.  For example, if a student only needs two 3-credit courses to complete their program and graduate at the end of the semester, then they are able to study part-time for that final semester.  The student must obtain a signature on the RCL Request Form from the Registrar to confirm degree completion after the specified semester.

How to Apply

If a student would like authorization for an RCL for any of the above reasons, the student must fill out the appropriate section of the RCL Request Form and attached all required documentation and/or obtain any required signatures for the specific reason. Once completed, the student can hand in the form to the ISS Coordinator in CSS.