Requesting a Reduced Course Load (RCL)

All F-1/J-1 students are required to enroll full-time every semester, with limited exceptions. A reduced course load (RCL) is permission to be registered below full-time during a semester if you qualify for one of the exceptions.

Applying Online

Before You Request Permission for an RCL

You are allowed to be less than full-time in the final term of your degree program without permission or further action, unless your academic program has a minimum registration requirement of all its students. 

If not, you do not have to be registered full-time if you do not need a full-time course load to complete your degree requirements.  It is permitted by your status, and you do not need to request permission for an RCL.

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You need to request and be granted permission from us for an RCL prior to dropping below full-time enrollment. You must meet one of following criteria:

1) Academic difficulties during your first academic year in a degree program. This exception may be used one time only in your first year. You must be experiencing one of the following:

  • initial difficulty with the English language
  • initial difficulty with reading requirements
  • unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods
  • improper course level placement. This means not having the prerequisites or preparation for a course and is not limited to the first year.

2)  Temporary illness or medical/mental health difficulties, an RCL is limited to a total of 12 months for the duration of the degree program.

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How to Request an RCL

Steps to apply for a reduced course load
Step 1.

Gather your documents

Step 2.

Login to Compass with your UNI and password to submit your application

Please click the appropriate link below:

Not sure of your campus? Check our campus school list.
Need help using Compass? Learn more on our Compass User Guide.

Step 3.

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.

Step 4.

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.