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A student with an F-1 visa is required by the United States Code of Federal Regulations to enroll in a full course of study each fall and spring semester: 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduate students.

Immigration Regulations allow the specific reasons below for a Reduced Course Load (RCL):
Initial difficulties with the English language * #
Initial difficulties with reading requirements * #
Unfamiliarity with United States teaching methods * #
Improper course level placement *

# Applicable only during the first semester in the United States
* Student must maintain at least six credit hours

An International Student Advisor (ISA) must authorize an RCL and update SEVIS before the student reduces his or her course load. If a student drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of his or her ISA, the student will be considered out of status. A student may only be approved for an RCL once per degree level for academic reasons.

NOTE: If a student is in his or her FINAL GRADUATING SEMESTER, the student is automatically allowed to register less than full time as indicated in the table below. No special authorization is required in this situation.

Final Semester Minimum Registration Requirements Undergraduate Students Graduate Students
Fall 1 credit 3 credits
Spring 1 credit 3 credits
Summer 1 credit 2 credits

Medical Reduced Course Load

A student's temporary illness or medical condition can be reason for a reduced course load (or, if necessary, no course load). Authorization for a reduced course load due to medical reasons is limited to a total of 12 months per degree level. A student must provide a letter on letterhead signed by an appropriate medical official in order to request an RCL for medical reasons.

This letter must:
Include the student's full name and date of birth
Recommend the student take a reduced course load due to medical reasons
Be signed by a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed clinical psychologist
Be dated and specify for which semester the reduced course load (or, if necessary, no course load) is being recommended

To request authorization for Reduced Course Load, click one of the following buttons (please make only one request and be sure you click the button according to your current visa status):

Request to drop a class that will not result in a Reduced Course Load

After the drop/add period has ended an International Hold is placed on the international student’s registration record, to prevent course drops that may result in a visa status violation.  If a student needs to drop a course that will result in less than full time enrollment, the student must first request the RCL authorization as explained above.

However, if the student is enrolled above the full-course requirement and requests to drop a course that will not result in less than full-time enrollment, the student may proceed without needing RCL authorization. The academic department personnel should inform UFIC of this situation by calling 352-273-1541 or contacting the appropriate UFIC Advisor. Upon confirming that full-time enrollment will not be impacted, a UFIC advisor will remove the hold so that the course may be dropped.

For academic units that use the Student Initiated Drop/ Add system, this process will take place as part of the normal work flow. UFIC will receive notification of the student’s drop request, review the request, advise the student if RCL is needed, or approve the request and remove the International Hold if it is determined that RCL is not needed. The academic department will then be able to complete the drop for the international student.