International Students and Scholars Office

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

International (F-1/J-1) students are required to enroll and complete a full course load each semester in order to maintain valid non-immigrant student status. There are only a few exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement for the fall and spring semesters. Each exception (category) has its own criteria, which are outlined below.


  1. Read RCL Categories carefully and follow the instructions
  2. Allow 10 business days for the ISSO processing 

The request MUST be completed BEFORE the end of add/drop period.

RCL Categories

The ISSO may authorize a final semester RCL for students who are in their final semester of study and only have a few units remaining to meet academic program requirements. Students may request an RCL due to final semester only once per degree level. 

NOTE: Your I-20 program end date will be shortened to your final semester.

Complete Final Semester Notification Form to request a RCL

The ISSOmay authorize a medical RCL due to a temporary health (physical or mental) condition(s) with an appropriate doctor’s letter recommending the RCL for medical reasons.

  • Letter from licensed medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), or licensed clinical psychologist that recommends student to take less than the minimum units required for full time enrollment
  • Receive prior approval from the ISSO and academic department before dropping classes
  • No more than 12 months (3 semesters) total of Medical RCL is permitted per degree level. The 12 month aggregate total includes semesters in which a student has taken a Leave of Absence (LOA) for medical reasons and remained in the US to receive treatment
Apply for Reduced Course Load

The ISSO may authorize a RCL for graduate students who register for thesis, project or qualifying exams. 

Apply for Reduced Course Load

CEU Footer