Ask an OISS Advisor: Reduced Course Load

QUESTION: I only have one class left to graduate; can I be part-time in my last semester?
by Martha Turner, Director, International Student and Scholar Advising

ANSWER: Yes, this is possible, but you must apply for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization. You would need to have your academic advisor complete the RCL form, which can be found at, and then apply at OISS by dropping off the completed form during the first two weeks of the semester.

Being authorized for an RCL to complete your course of study in the current term means that your I-20 will be shortened to the end of the current semester. It also means that you are not eligible for an extension of your I-20.

Effect on tuition, insurance, and university benefits
Since policies differ between programs, you will need to check with your school/program about whether you will have to pay full tuition or not during the final semester with a reduced course load. F-1 students are automatically enrolled in the university health insurance even when they are authorized to be part-time students, so there is no need to worry about your medical insurance coverage. However, as a part-time student you might not be eligible for a U-Pass or access to the Athletic Center. Again, it is best to check with your school/program about these benefits.



Send us your questions! “Ask an OISS Advisor” is a regular feature in the International Voice where OISS advisors answer questions that have been submitted by International Students and Scholars from Washington University. This means that we need your help! If you have a question that you would like to have answered in this column, please send it to us. It might be a question for which you don’t know the answer or it may be a particular issue that you have noticed causes confusion for many other international students. If you’re not sure if it’s a good question for this feature, go ahead and send it in, and we will decide. Please send your questions to the editor of the International Voice at: . Indicate if you prefer for your question to be anonymous.