Thomas Jefferson University

F-1 Reduced Course Load

All students must be enrolled full-time each semester. However, there may be an instance where a reduced course load (RCL) is necessary. Contact oia@jefferson.edu before making any program changes to ensure that the reason for your reduced course load falls under a reason permitted under F-1 regulations. An RCL is only allowed under specific academic or medical circumstances outlined below. 

Note: If an RCL creates a situation where a program extension is needed, a Request for Program Extension must also be filled out and approved at the same time.


Academic Reasons

Duration: one term maximum

Enrollment requirement:  During the authorization period for RCL based on academic difficulties, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits and graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits. Only 3 online credits may count toward the minimum requirements. The student is expected to resume a full course of study for the next available academic term. 

Reasons permitted (only one must be selected): 

  • Difficulty with the English language (1st term only) 
  • Difficulty with reading requirements (1st term only)
  • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods (1st term only)
  • Improper course level placement
  • Student is in the final term of a degree proram and will enroll in the credit hours needed to complete the program of study

Medical Condition

Duration: up to 12 months

Enrollment requirement: There is no minimum enrollment requirement for students who are authorized for RCL based on medical conditions.

Documentation from a licensed medical doctor/doctor of osteopathy/clinical psychologist must be provided to substantiate the authorization for RCL based on medical condition.