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Replacing a lost, damaged, or stolen I-20 or DS-2019

Requesting a Reduced Course Load

Reduced Course Load for F-1/J-1 Students

 

To maintain F-1/J-1 status, international students must be enrolled in a full course of study at the start of the fall and spring semesters.

F-1/J-1 students may request a Reduced Course Load (RCL) through the RCL eForm in the following circumstances:

Students in their final semester of study.

Graduate students whose final academic requirement is a thesis or dissertation and who are required to take one continuing registration credit.

  • Thesis/dissertation graduate students who have completed all coursework credits, including all research, dissertation, and thesis credit hours may request a reduced course load. Speak with your academic advisor if you are unsure what your final academic requirement is.
    • **Thesis/dissertation F-1 students who are approved for a reduced course load and then change their final academic requirement may be violating their immigration status and not be eligible for post-OPT.

To be eligible for a reduced course load all F-1/J-1 students must:

  • Meet one of the above circumstances;
  • Be enrolled in no more than one online class or 3 online credits;
  • Have a valid I-20/DS-2019 for the entire semester (see information on extending your I-20 or extending your DS-2019);
  • And be inside the United States. Please inform the ISSC if you are planning to enroll in classes while outside of the United States.

The RCL eForm will open for each semester on commencement of the previous semester in the MyISSC eForm Portal. For example, the Fall 2022 RCL eForm will open commencement of Spring 2022. Please enroll before submitting your request.

Please keep in mind that: 

  • An RCL is not required if your remaining credits are online as these will need to be completed outside of the U.S.
  • An RCL is not required during the summer semester for continuing students.

Students with a medical issue in the current semester. 
If you would like to request a reduced course load based on medical reasons, please consult with an advisor as soon as possible. Medical documentation is required to apply and must be signed by a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or a clinical psychologist.