Requesting a Reduced Course Load (RCL)
All F-1/J-1 students are required to enroll full-time every semester, with very limited exceptions. A reduced course load (RCL) is permission to be registered below full-time during a semester.
Final Term Exception
You are allowed to be less than full-time in the final term of your degree program if you do not need a full-time course load to complete your degree requirements. You do not need to request permission for an RCL and no further action is required.
Eligibility to request permission for an RCL
You need to request and be granted permission from us for an RCL prior to dropping below full-time enrollment if one of the exceptions below applies to you.
1) Academic difficulties during your degree program
This exception may be used one time only and you must resume a full course of study at the next available semester.
- initial difficulty with the English language (first semester)
- initial difficulty with reading requirements (first semester)
- unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods (first semester)
- improper course level placement. This means not having the prerequisites or preparation for a course and is not limited to the first semester
2) Temporary illness or medical/mental health difficulties
You may apply for an RCL on the basis of a temporary health situation for one semester. If additional time is needed, a new application with new documentation is required for any subsequent semester. You are limited by regulation to a total of 12 months of approved RCL time during your degree program.
How to Request an RCL
Gather your documents
- Most recent I-94 arrival record
- If you are currently in the U.S. only
- A letter of support or printed email from your academic adviser confirming the circumstances and recommending the reduced course load (RCL)
- You will need his or her contact information (name, email address, and phone number).
- Documentation from a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or a licensed clinical psychologist recommending a reduced course load due to illness or medical condition. The letter must also specify the time period recommended for the reduced enrollment.
- Health reason only
Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to submit your application
Please click the appropriate link below:
We will contact you
Allow up to 5 business days for us to review your application. We will notify you by email when your request has been processed.
Contact your school (after approval)
Once you are approved, check with your school to determine how you may drop your course(s) if it is past the add/drop period.