Reduced Course Load

Reduced Course Load

Every international student in F-1 or J-1 status is required to maintain a full course of study for each quarter/semester they are enrolled at Northwestern. In certain situations, students may drop below a full course load; however, prior authorization from the IO is required. Please review the following situations to see if you qualify.

  1. Academic Difficulties - Initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods, or improper course level placement. Student must resume a full course load at the next academic term. (only applicable during first quarter)
  2. Medical Conditions - Must be based on a medical condition diagnosed and documented by a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist. Documentation must be specific and must accompany this form. The physician or psychologist must recommend either part time or no enrollment, and must indicate the term for which the reduced course load is applicable. A reduced course load for medical reasons may be recommended for more than one term, but cannot exceed 12-months. The student must reapply for a reduced course load each quarter/semester.
  3. Completion of Course of Study - The student will be in his/her final term of study and does not require a full course load to complete his/her degree program.
  4. Concurrent Enrollment - The student is taking courses at another approved institution. These courses will fulfill Northwestern University degree requirements, and concurrent enrollment between both schools equivocates to a full course of study. More than half of the units must be at Northwestern. The student has prior approval from their department and the Registrar's Office verifying the courses taken at another institution will be counted toward the degree program.

To apply for a reduced course load, please download, complete, and submit the Reduced Course Load form.