Reduced Credit Load Form for Medical Exception

Instructions to complete the form

  1. Complete the top portion of the form that reads, “To be completed by the student.”
  2. Give the form to a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed psychologist to substantiate the illness or medical condition by filling out the bottom portion of the form that reads, “To be completed by the student’s physician or licensed clinical psychologist.”
  3. Submit the completed form to ISSS and receive authorization from an ISSS Advisor before dropping below full-time. ISSS will notify you once your form has been processed whether or not your reduced credit load has been authorized.

Tips

Regulations

8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(A)-(E)

International students must carry a full academic course load each semester in order to maintain F-1 immigration status.

  • Undergraduate Students: Must carry a minimum of 12 credits per semester (fall/spring) to be considered full time. Must take at least 9 credits of on-campus (RI) coursework toward the 12-credit minimum. For immigration purposes, courses offered through CSU Online or with a section number between 400 and 499 will not count toward the RI minimum.
  • Graduate Students: Must carry a minimum of 9 credits per semester (fall/spring) to be considered full time. Must take at least 6 credits of on-campus (RI) coursework toward the 9-credit minimum. For immigration purposes, courses offered through CSU Online or with a section number between 400 and 499 will not count toward the RI minimum.

There are very few exceptions for students to drop below full time, and not all options are available to all students. A student who feels they cannot maintain a full course of study may request a reduced course load (RCL) due to a temporary illness or medical condition. A request for an RCL must be supported by a licensed medical professional and authorized by ISSS BEFORE dropping any classes. You will receive an email from ISSS once your RCL has been approved. Do not drop below full time until you have received final approval from ISSS. Failure to do so will affect your immigration status.

Additional Information

  • The medical exception to a full course load requirement is limited to a period of time not to exceed an aggregate of 12 months at each degree level.
  • Eligibility for the medical exception requires documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or clinical psychologist. If your medical provider does not have these credentials, a secondary signature by someone with these credentials is required.
  • The medical exception recommendation must indicate a specific number of credits (or zero credits) that the student should maintain due to the medical condition.
  • The student must be re-authorized for the Medical RCL each semester that it applies.
  • Students may only count 3 credits (or 1 course) of online/distance learning per semester toward their full course of study requirement. Students cannot be exclusively enrolled in online courses.
  • Audited courses do not count toward the full course of study requirement.
  • Students who are sponsored, on exchange, or on scholarship may have additional expectations or requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to check in with their sponsor, home institution or scholarship provider to identify if they have minimum credit requirements to maintain their status in these programs.
  • Important health insurance considerations if you are authorized to drop down to zero credits:
    • If you never enrolled during the semester for which your medical reduced credit load was approved, you are not eligible for CSU health insurance and will need to purchase your own separate coverage.
    • If you withdraw from all classes less than 31 days into the semester, your CSU health insurance will be revoked unless you submit a waiver based on medical necessity with the student health insurance office to keep your coverage for that semester.
    • If you withdraw from all classes more than 31 days into the semester, you will continue to be covered by CSU health insurance.