Reduced Course Load (Immigration)

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Applies to:
    • Current Students
    • Prospective Students
  • Approved by:
    • International Admissions
  • Issued: December 1, 2021
  • Last updated: December 1, 2021

F-1 students normally need to maintain a full course load until their final semester. There are four exceptions:

  1. The final semester before graduating, you may take less than a full course load as long as you take all the courses you need to graduate.
    1. If you end up needing an additional semester after this (for example, if you fail one of the required classes), you MUST take a full course load again.
    2. You must have at least one credit of in-person courses required to graduate. If none of your courses are required, or if they are all online, you will lose your F-1 status.
    3. You may not delay your graduation date in order to do additional CPT.
  1. On your doctor’s or licensed clinical therapist’s recommendation, you may drop to fewer than 12 credits, even down to zero credits.
    1. Do not drop or withdraw from any of your classes until you have consulted the immigration coordinator and received a new I-20.
    2. Your doctor or licensed clinical therapist must provide a letter stating that they recommend a reduced course load.
    3. Reductions must be authorized one semester at a time. If the reduced course load will continue into the next semester, you must provide an updated letter from a doctor or licensed clinical psychologist and receive an updated I-20.
    4. This type of reduced course load is limited to an aggregate 12 months across the time of your degree.
  1. Academic difficulties
    1. If you are experiencing academic difficulties in your first semester as a Calvin student, you may drop to 6 credits at the lowest.
    2. Do NOT withdraw from any classes until you have completed the process and received an updated I-20. You must continue attending all classes until you receive the new I-20.
    3. This option is only available once per education level (i.e., once during undergraduate studies, once during master’s-level studies, etc.)



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