Reduced Course Load

A reduced course load (RCL) allows an F-1 student to enroll in fewer courses and still maintain their F-1 status. All RCL requests are authorized for one quarter. You must submit a new request for each quarter an RCL is required.

RCL requests are available at the International Student Portal. Note that the Medical request is separate from the general request.

Academic (Final quarter)

  • If it is your final quarter, you can submit an RCL request and enroll in fewer credits.
  • If you fail to complete your degree, a second RCL will be considered only in the next quarter (you will not receive a summer quarter break if you fail and summer is the next quarter).
  • Academic reduced course loads require you to enter an “Approver” name and email address. The approver must be an Academic Advisor. International Student Advisors, Professors, and Faculty Advisors cannot complete the approval.


A medical reduced course load is kept confidential and does not involve approval from your academic department.

  • You must provide a letter from a medical professional telling us the reduced course load is required.
    • The letter must be from a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, or Psychiatrist. Their professional title must be clearly printed on the letter. We will not accept documentation from any other type of medical professional.
    • The letter must clearly state the time required for reduced course load.
    • The letter must clearly state that the time required is for the majority (or entirety) of the quarter.
    • Medical RCL is approved for the length of a single quarter only. Each quarter requires a separate letter to document the continued medical necessity of the RCL.
    • Medical RCL is limited to a total of 12 months.