International Programs and Services

Reduced Course Load

International students must be full-time during fall and spring semesters. Students who do not intend to take a full course load need approval beforehand from their IPS advisor.

  • IPS is authorized to approve less than full course loads for degree-seeking students on F-1 and J-1 visas only under exceptions allowed under federal regulations.
  • If a first-year student has academic difficulties we may approve one exception, but no more than one.
  • Graduate students supported on assistantship must register for 9 credits. They are not eligible for reduced course load authorization.

Reasons and Process for Reduced Course Loads  

  1. Academic Difficulties
    • Lack of familiarity with US teaching methods
    • Difficulty with English language (includes reading requirements)
    • Improper course level placement

Required Documentation: The student must provide a letter from the academic advisor and/or instructor confirming the student is eligible for a reduced course load based on evaluation of academic performance or student records.

  1. Medical Reasons
    For serious medical conditions that restrict the ability to attend classes and pursue full-time studies. Available a maximum one year.
    Required Documentation: The student must provide documentation each semester from a physician or licensed mental health practitioner on the US-licensed professional's official letterhead.
  2. Completion of Course of Study
    Required Documentation: During your final semester at Michigan Tech you only have to take the courses required to complete your degree. Your advisor signs the form
  3. Fill out the google form reduced course load request and upload the signed advisor form from above. 
  4. Concurrent Enrollment (Transient Students)
    F-1 students are allowed to take a limited number of credits at other institutions. They must submit the transfer grades to Michigan Tech 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.
    • A copy of your payment for transient school courses.
    • Letter from your Michigan Tech academic advisor approving the course(s) for transfer for the semester.
  1. Semester-Off Authorization (Non-Traditional Vacation Term)
    A summer semester off is traditional and does not need to be approved. To be eligible to take fall or spring semester off, you must have been a full-time student for the two previous (consecutive) semesters, and have approval from your academic program or academic advisor.
    Required Documentation: Complete the Semester-Off Authorization google form and receive approval from IPS before you take a spring or fall semester off. Submit this form instead of the Reduced Course Load Request.