Reduced Course Load (RCL)

In coordination with an academic advisor or instructor, your immigration advisor may authorize you to have part-time enrollment for a specified academic reason with a Reduced Course Load (RCL)F-1 regulations allow for a reduced course load during a student’s initial/first semester for:  

  • Improper course level placement 
  • Initial difficulty with reading requirements 
  • Initial difficulty with the English language 
  • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods 

You must request the RCL and receive approval from your immigration advisor by the end of the semester in which you want to drop the course.  You may only have one academic RCL per degree level.  

You may request permission to register part-time or take the semester off for a documented medical reason. A licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist must complete the form recommending your RCL.  You must request the RCL and receive approval from your immigration advisor by the end of the semester in which you need the approved RCL.  You may have a maximum of two medical RCLs.