Reduced Course Load

U.S. immigration regulations require that all F-1 and J-1 students register for and complete a full course of study every term. Full-time status at UW-Platteville is defined as 12 credits per semester for undergraduate students, 9 credits per semester for graduate students, or 6 credits per semester for graduate students who have a graduate assistantship or who are working on their thesis. Although limited, there are a few scenarios in which a visa authorization to drop below full-time may be granted to international students by the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office.

Acceptable Reasons for Reduced Course Load Authorization:

Authorization for a reduced course load (RCL) must be granted by the International Student and Scholar Services Office BEFORE the student drops below full-time. Students may request an RCL from ISSS for (and only for) the following documented reasons:

  • Academic Difficulties: Student must maintain a minimum six-credit course load, or half the clock hours required for a full course of study. The only Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorized reasons for an Academic Difficulty RCL are the following:
    • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
    • Initial difficulty with English language
    • Unfamiliar with U.S. teaching methods
    • Improper course level placement
  • Final Semester: Less than a full course load is needed to complete the degree program.
  • Illness or medical condition: Must be documented by a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist, and cannot exceed 12 month aggregate per program level

How to Request Authorization for a Reduced Course Load

Before dropping below full-time status, students should work with their academic advisor to complete the Reduced Course Load form (see link at right), and make an appointment with the ISSS Office. The ISSS Advisor must grant students authorization for a Reduced Course Load and issue a new I-20  for students before they drop below full-time status.