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Requesting a Reduced Course Load

If you are considering reducing your course load for any of the permitted circumstances, please follow these steps:

  1. Do not withdraw from any classes below a full course of study until you have consulted with your academic advisor AND an ISSO advisor has granted you authorization.
  2. Obtain support documentation that addresses one of the following circumstances:
  3. Initial difficulties with the English language or reading requirements - (Normally available only during the first semester of study.)  You must provide a letter of assessment from your academic counselor that verifies your language difficulty and recommends that you be allowed to take less than a full-time credit load for the semester.

    Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods - (Normally available only during the first semester of study.)  You must provide a letter of assessment from your academic counselor that verifies a cultural conflict exists which is interfering with your ability to otherwise perform well in class and recommends that you be allowed to take less than a full-time credit load for the semester.

    Improper course level placement - (Only necessary if dropping the course will bring you below a full course of study.) You must provide a letter of assessment from your academic counselor that verifies you were improperly placed in a course that has proven too difficult for your current level of academic ability and recommends that you be allowed to withdraw from that course (course number and title must be specified).

    Illness or other medical condition - You must provide medical documentation that verifies a reduced course load is necessary due to illness or medical condition.  The semester must be specified.  A letter from the physician who is treating you is acceptable, but must be on letterhead.  The letter must specify the time period recommended for the reduced course load (not more than one year).  You must resume a full course of study in the Fall or Spring semester immediately following the recommended period of recovery.

    To complete program of study in final term - Work with your school or college to make sure that your record in the Univeristy Information System (UIS) indicates that you will graduate at end of the current term.  Alternatively, obtain a letter from your academic advisor, director of graduate studies or dean of the school/college verifying that you need only a part-time course load to complete your program in the current term.

  4. Make an appointment to meet with your ISSO advisor to discuss your situation.
  5. Please bring your support documentation, I-20, passport and I-94 card with you to your appointment.

Upon approval, you will receive a new Form I-20 that indicates the authorization.  This provides you with proof of your lawful F-1 status during your reduced course load.  Keep this I-20 -- and all I-20s -- for your records.

 

ISSO
Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office