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. 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.
    • 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 graduate advisor.
    Required Documentation: Submit the completed and approved Semester-Off Authorization form before you take a spring or fall semester off. Submit this form instead of the Reduced Course Load Request.