Reduced Course Load


A Reduced Course Load (RCL) can be utilized by our students with an F-1 visa to take fewer courses than what is required by the United States Code of Federal Regulations. The regulations state that F-1 visa students have to enroll in a full course of study each fall and spring semesters: 12 credit hours. Here is more information about the regulation and how you can qualify and request an RCL.

Immigration Regulations allow the specific reasons below for a Reduced Course Load

  • Initial difficulties with the English language * #
  • Initial difficulties with reading requirements * #
  • Unfamiliarity with United States teaching methods * #
  • Improper course level placement *

#Applicable only during the first semester in the program

*You must maintain at least six credit hours

If you identify yourself with one of the reasons above, please visit an International Student Advisor (ISA) who will authorize an RCL and update SEVIS prior to reducing your course load. If you drop below a full course of study without the prior approval of your ISA, you will be considered out of status. You may only be approved for an RCL once per degree level for academic reasons.

NOTE: If you are in your FINAL GRADUATING SEMESTER, you are automatically allowed to register less than full time as indicated in the table below. No special authorization is required in this situation.

Final Semester Minimum Registration Requirements Undergraduate Students
Fall 1 credit
Spring 1 credit
Summer 1 credit