Completing the Reduced Credit Load Form (J-1 Student)

There are 3 primary reasons for which J-1 international students may drop below full-time:

  • Bona Fide Academic Reason
  • Nearing Graduation
    • Final semester of required coursework and taking all available courses to meet graduation requirements
    • Completed required coursework and preparing for comprehensive examination (graduate students only)
    • Completed required coursework and working on thesis/dissertation (graduate students only)
  • Medical Exception (please fill out and submit the paper-based medical Reduced Credit Load form instead): The student may request a reduced credit load, due to a temporary illness or medical condition. It is limited to a period of time not to exceed a total of 12 months, at each degree level. Requires a signature from a licensed medical doctor or clinical psychologist and recommendation of the number of credits the student should take. The student must be re-authorized for the Medical RCL each semester that it applies.

Instructions to complete the e-form

  1. Choose a visa type.
  2. Scroll down to the bold heading “Student Information.” Fill in all of the required fields, marked with an asterisk (*).
  3. Describe your situation or the reason for which you are requesting a reduced credit load in the box provided above the bold heading “Signature.”
  4. When you click “Submit,” your eform request will be automatically emailed to your academic advisor for review. Your part of the process is complete, but you will need to wait to drop below full time until the eform has been approved by both your academic advisor and ISSS.


  • You will be asked whether you have met with an immigration advisor and an academic advisor. You are not required to select “yes” to either of them and your answer will not have any impact on your eform. However, if your situation is complex, ISSS recommends meeting with an immigration advisor and your academic advisor to make the process more efficient and prevent misunderstandings.
  • You will receive an email from ISSS once your Reduced Credit Load has been approved. Do not drop below full time until you have received final approval from ISSS.


If you are on campus or connected to the CSU network, you can click here to see a preview of the form.