Reduced Course Load (Part-time Study)

As per immigration regulations [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(6)], “Successful completion of the full course of study must lead to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective.” A full course of study for an undergraduate study consists of at least 12 credit hours each semester. A graduate student must follow the normal program definition of your program.


Consult an International Student Advisor at ISS first. If you are eligible to take a reduced course load, bring the Academic Part-Time Authorization Form to ISS for authorization after it is signed by both your Academic Advisor and Dean.

Failure to receive prior approval for part-time study is a violation of your lawful status in the United States and will result in termination of SEVIS record, losing benefits such as Practical Training or other work opportunities.

Medical recommendation for part-time study or leave of absence requires documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist. Please consult an International Student Advisor at ISS for guidance. The Academic Part-Time Authorization Form is not used for part-time study or leave of absence due to temporary illness or medical condition.

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