Leave of Absence / Less Than Full-Time
Zero Tolerance for unauthorized drops below full-time!
You must obtain permission from the International Student Coordinator (PDSO) who will update your SEVIS record. A dean or program administrator may not give you permission to academically skip a semester as they cannot ensure compliance with immigration law.
Pre-Approved Authorization for Less Than Full-Time
You are only legally allowed to be enrolled less than full-time in the FINAL SEMESTER or TRIMESTER of your last year PRESUMING that the reduced course load is all that you need to graduate.
Any other term in your academic career you need P/DSO permission BEFORE dropping below full-time. There are certain circumstances for this to be legally authorized.
Authorized Leave of Absence
P/DSO authorization will only be considered in the following legally recognized circumstances:
- Medical: You must bring P/DSO an original letter from a licensed medical doctor. (Note: the law limits the type of permissible doctors). A partial reduction of credits or term leave may be authorized. Throughout the academic program no more than 12 months medical reduction may be authorized
- Academic Difficulty: Course load cannot be reduced beyond 6 credits. This is only considered for first year students having initial difficulties with the English language, reading requirements, American teaching methods, or improper course level placement.
NOTE: Dropping below full-time (or not registering at all) because of a financial hold will absolutely not be authorized. As an F-1 student you had to prove sufficient funds to study. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not allow less than full-time for financial reasons.
How to get authorization:
- See the P/DSO to obtain the form “Request for Less Than Full-Time”
- Bring the form to the Dean/Program Administrator for academic permission
- Return the form to the P/DSO for final approval and update of SEVIS record