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. 

For undergraduate students a minimum of 12 credits is considered full-time enrollment; for graduate students, typically a minimum of 9 credits is considered full-time enrollment. However, you should confirm with your academic department as to what full-time enrollment is for your academic program.

If you register or drop 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 and you will be unable to stay and study in the US, and this may impact your eligibility for F-1 CPT or OPT or J-1 Academic Training.

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

Find all the details on how to request a reduced course load depending on your situation:

Reduced Course Load in Your Final Semester

If it is your final semester before you complete your academic program and you have fewer than full-time credits remaining to finish your degree or program, learn more about the process to apply for a reduced course load in your final semester.

Medical Reduced Course Load

If you have a medical condition requiring you to take a leave of absence or reduced course load, learn more about the process to apply for a medical reduced course load.

Special Note about Eligibility

Before withdrawing from courses and applying for a reduced course load, please contact your academic department to confirm your eligibility to continue in your program. OGS cannot authorize a medical reduced course load where you are registered for zero credits without confirmation that you are eligible to continue your studies after your leave. 

If you have any other reason that prevents you from registering full-time, please speak to an OGS advisor during our advising hours. Other reasons may include initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with US teaching methods, or improper course level placement.