All F-1 and J-1 international students must register full-time every semester or receive permission from OGS for a reduced course load (RCL), which is anything less than full-time registration.  

If you have concerns about course enrollment during your final semester, speak with an OGS advisor before your course registration is complete.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for a reduced course load if:

  • it is your last semester before you graduate and you have fewer than 12 credits left to finish your degree or program.
  • it is your first semester in the US, and your department recommends English-language courses in addition to your studies.
  • you have a medical condition requiring you to take a leave of absence or a reduced course load. For permission to register less than full-time due to a medical reason, please follow the instructions for Medical Leave of Absence or Reduced Course Load.

If you have any other reason that prevents you from registering full-time, please speak to an OGS advisor during our advising hours.  

Special Note for the Fall 2021 Semester:

If you register or drop to below full-time without OGS permission AND the support of your academic department, you will lose the benefits of F-1 and J-1 status (even if you are studying remotely from abroad with your academic department's permission or participating in Go Local for the current semester) and will be unable to stay and study in the US. If you register or drop to below full-time without OGS permission, you must submit a request to end your immigration status.

Note that this can impact your eligibility for F-1 CPT or OPT or J-1 Academic Training. If and when you decide to return to full-time study in the US, then you will need to apply for a new I-20 or DS-2019 from OGS at least three months prior to your intended return to NYU.

How to Apply

Step 1

Contact Your Academic Department

Contact your academic department to learn more about factors to consider and understand before registering for anything less than full-time. These factors could include:

  • graduation filing requirements, 
  • scholarship eligibility, and
  • other steps you need to take to get academic department approval for registering below full-time.

Step 2

Submit Your Reduced Course Load Permission Request to OGS

If you experience difficulty with the online request form, review our troubleshooting tips.

If Your Request is Approved

You will be notified by email within 5-7 business days.

If Your Request is Not Approved

You must register full-time. If you register or drop to below full-time without OGS permission, you will lose the benefits of lawful student status and be unable to stay and study in the US.