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Graduate International Student Admissions

Reduced Enrollment

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires all F-1 students to be enrolled full-time each long semester (fall and spring) and, in some cases, summer sessions, in order to maintain F-1 status. Go to Enrollment Requirements for more information about required semesters.

Under specific conditions, an F-1 student may be authorized by the graduate international student advisor to take a reduced course load and still maintain F-1 status.

In order to maintain F-1 status, a student must obtain written authorization from the graduate international student advisor BEFORE reducing his or her course load.

DHS provides only five exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement. Students in the following situations may be eligible to apply for permission for reduced enrollment:

  • Initial difficulties with the English language
  • Initial difficulties with reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
  • Improper course level placement
  • Serious medical illness or condition

There are a number of eligibility requirements and restrictions. If you feel you may be eligible to apply for permission for reduced enrollment, schedule an appointment to meet with the graduate international student advisor. Do not reduce your enrollment before you have received authorization from the graduate international student advisor to do so.

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