Reduced Course Load

International students are required to be full-time during Fall and Spring semesters. In the event the student does not intend to take a full course load, they must get prior approval from the IPS advisor. Please note:

  • IPS is authorized to approve less than full course load for degree-seeking students on F-1 and J-1 visas only under the guidelines of exceptions allowed by federal regulations,
  • During a student’s first year, only one exception for academic difficulties will be approved.
  • Graduate students who are in research only mode who wish to request reduced course load authorization must, upon approval of this authorization, also contact Nancy Byers Sprague (nspr@mtu.edu) in the Graduate School to request removal from research-only mode.
  • Graduate students supported on assistantship must register for 9 credits and may not request reduced course load authorization.
  • J-1 Non-degree (exchange) students See item 6 below.

    Guidelines of Exceptions
    1. Academic Difficulties
    - Lack of familiarity with US teaching methods
    - Difficulty with English language (including reading requirements)
    - Improper course level placement
    Required Documentation: The student needs to provide a letter from the academic advisor and/or instructor confirming that the student is eligible for the above exception based on the evaluation of the student’s academic performance or records.

    2. Medical Condition
    Applicable to serious medical conditions which restrict the student’s ability to attend classes and pursue a full-time course of study. Available for a maximum of one year.
    Required Documentation: The student must provide formal documentation from a physician or licensed mental health practitioner. This documentation must be on the physician’s or practitioner’s letterhead and submitted each semester.

    3. Completion of Course of Study (Final Semester at MTU)
    Applicable to students who are in their last semester at MTU, allowing them to take only the courses required to complete their degree program. The advisor’s signature on this form constitutes the required documentation.

    4. Concurrent Enrollment (Transient Student)
    F-1 students are allowed to take a limited number of credits at other institutions. The student is required to submit the transfer grades to MTU when the semester is completed.
    Required Documentation:
    - A copy of current Michigan Tech enrollment record.
    - A copy of registration at the transient school, including student name, semester, course, course number, and credits.
    - Letter from your MTU academic adviser approving the course(s) for transfer to MTU for the semester.

    5. Semester-Off Authorization (Non-Traditional Vacation Term)
    Summer is the traditional semester off and does not need to be approved. This form must be submitted PRIOR to taking spring or fall semester off. To be eligible, students must have been full-time for the two previous (consecutive) semesters, and receive approval from their academic program or graduate advisor.
    Required Documentation: Submit a completed and approved “Semester-Off Authorization” form rather than the Reduced Course Load Request.

    6. J-1 Non-degree Prescribed Course of Study
    If you are here as an exchange student with a specific educational objective that does not require enrollment in a full-time course load (e.g., a research project and/or academic training), you may qualify for reduced course load. Please make an appointment to discuss your prescribed course of study with an IPS advisor prior to completing and submitting the RCL form.
    Required Documentation: Description of your specific educational objective signed by your home-school academic advisor and/or the international exchange officer at your home university. Signature of your Michigan Tech department advisor approving the reduced course load. 

  • Reduced Course Load for F-1 or J-1 Students: Request Form
  • Semester-Off Request—J-1 and F-1 (Non-Traditional Vacation Term)