Dropping Below Full-Time Enrollment

As a non-immigrant student, you must be continuously enrolled in full-time study.  In some circumstances a student may take below the minimum required credit hours. The Request to Drop Below Full-Time Enrollment must be completed to approve a student to drop below the minimum required credit hours.  You must always meet with a DSO before dropping below full-time enrollment, even if you meet the requirements. 

Acceptable reasons to drop below full-time enrollment include:

Final Semester

Students in their last semester of coursework are allowed to take less than a full course of study, but they are required to take at least 1 credit hour, traditional or hybrid. If only 1 class is required for graduation, it cannot be an online class. If their last semester is summer, they must still be registered in at least 1 credit hour, traditional or hybrid.

Students who choose this option and do not graduate cannot request a second drop below for this reason.  The only option may be to apply for part -time OPT until degree requirements are met.  Therefore students are advised to choose this option only after careful consultation with their academic advisor and if necessary, one of the CGLE staff.  

Academic Difficulty During First Term

Students facing severe academic difficulty due to the following reasons may request to enroll in less than full-time : 

1) having problems with the English language or reading requirements or

2) being unfamiliar with American teaching methods

This is allowed only during the student’s first term of study.  It must be approved by a Designated School Official in the Center for Global Learning & Engagement (CGLE). Students who are approved for this request must remain registered in at least 6 credit hours throughout the term (including summer if required to be registered in the summer).

Improper Course Level

A student may be allowed to go below full enrollment if there is a documented case of the student being placed in the improper course level or in a course for which the prerequisites had not been met. 

Illness or Medical Condition

Students must get written permission from a medical doctor stating that their medical condition is severe enough that they cannot remain in a full course of study. The nature of the illness does not have to be revealed, however a Designated School Official in the CGLE must approve the request before a student can drop their classes. This reason cannot be used for more than a total of 12 months during the student’s program study.