|Reduced Course Load
International students on F-1 and J-1 visas are required by US immigration regulations to remain enrolled full-time during Fall and Spring semesters (Undergraduate students 12 hours)(Graduate students 9 hours).
Students who do not intend to take a full course load must get prior approval from IS before registing for less than full-time hours or dropping below full-time. Students who qualify for a reduced course load should complete the Reduced Course Load Request Form.
Acceptable reasons for a reduced course load
- Completion of Program/Final Semester of study
- Unfamiliarity with US teaching methods in the first semester of study in the USA
- Difficulty with English language in the first semester of study in the USA
- Improper course level placement due to Department/Advisor ERROR
- Medical condition that restricts eligibility to attend classes and pursue full-time coursework
- Cross Enrollment/Dual Enrollment
- Even with the reduced course load approval, students are required to take a minimum of 6 credits at USF (except for a medical condition/ or taking final semester).
- Requests must be submitted by the first week of classes for the requested semester.
- F-1 and J-1 students are advised to read all directions on the Reduced Course Load Request Form and provide the required documentation.
- Students who engage in full-time curricular practical training (CPT) or full-time optional practical training (OPT) are not required to be registered full-time and do not need to complete the form.
- Graduate students who have completed all course work and are registered for ONLY thesis or dissertation hours are considered full-time and do not need to complete the form.
- In general, students authorized for a reduced course load are not eligible for on-campus employment unless the reduced course load is for completion of the degree in the final semester or the student is cross enrolled.