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Full Course of Study Requirement

F-1 Visa holding students must maintain a full course of study throughout his/her education. At JMU an undergraduate full load is considered 12 credit hours, and a graduate full load is considered 9 credit hours.  This must be maintained during the fall and spring semester.  Failure to maintain a full course of study will result a termination of your immigration status.

Exception to a Full Course of Study:

Immigration regulations dictate that a Reduced Course Load (RCL) must be authorized by International Student and Scholar Services prior to dropping below full-time status.  SEVIS limits the reasons for the ‘RCL’ and the duration of a RCL.  If you have a medical condition that limits your ability to attend class, you must submit the RCL form with medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed clinical psychologist.  If you have an academic concern or this is your final semester, please see your academic advisor to discuss your circumstance that might qualify you for the RCL and complete the RCL form

The following may be legitimate reasons for a reduced course load:

  • Illness or medical condition
  • Initial difficulty with English language
  • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
  • Improper course level placement
  • To complete course of study in current term
  • Part time border commuter student

To request a Redcued Course Load (RCL) submit the completed Reduced Course Load Form and return it to the ISSS office along with documentation verifying your circumstances.  Permission to drop below full-time must be approved in SEVIS first, then classes may be dropped at the Registrar's Office if your request is granted.