All F-1 and J-1 international students must register full-time every semester or receive permission from OGS for a reduced course load, which is anything less than full-time registration. Please note, F-1 regulations state that only one online class may count towards full-time enrollment in any fall or spring semester.

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. If you are a graduate student, first find out if your department considers fewer than 12 credits to be full-time enrollment.

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,
  • medical leave approval from an academic department standpoint, and
  • other steps you need to take to get academic department approval for registering part-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 part-time, or if you drop courses 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 United States.

If Your Department Considers Fewer than 12 credits Full-time Enrollment

Graduate students registered for fewer than 12 credits are often considered to be doing the equivalent of full-time studies nonethless. This is called full-time equivalency and is something your academic department must evaluate and make a notation of in Albert. Once you get full-time equivalency from your department, you do NOT need to get permission from OGS to register for a reduced course load.