UCI International Center

Part-Time Study

Section 1

As an F-1/J-1 student, you are required to register full-time (minimum 12 units) every quarter (Fall, Winter, and Spring) or 6 units when Summer is your final quarter at UCI. Enrollment below 12 units under certain conditions may be allowed. To keep your visa status, you must request authorization from an International Center advisor before dropping below 12 units. Your SEVIS record must be updated to reflect your enrollment status.

Undergraduate Students

You may drop below 12 units (Fall, Winter & Spring) or 6 units (when Summer is your last quarter) for one of the following reasons:

Academic Difficulty

If you are having difficulties adjusting to the teaching methods or with the English language, you can request to enroll in less than 12 units with approval from an academic counselor. This option can be used one time only.

Final Quarter

If you need less than 12 units to complete all degree requirements you must complete all degree requirements at the end of the quarter which you requested a reduced course load.

Health/Medical

If you need to be absent for one quarter or enroll in less than 12 units due to a medical/health condition.
  • You must provide a doctor's letter from a California Licensed Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
  • The doctor's letter must be on official letterhead and include: a recommendation from the doctor to take a reduced course load or absence due to a medical condition and must state that you are under a doctor's care during the quarter. Only letters on original doctor/hospital letterhead will be accepted. 
    • Letter must also include: Dates of expected medical leave (start and end), doctor's license number, doctor's signature, doctor's name, office address, and contact information.
  • It is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with an IC student advisor for specific instructions before requesting a reduced course load or absence due to a medical condition. 
 To request enrollment below 12 units, please complete the Undergraduate Reduced Course Load Request form.

Graduate Students

Reasons you may drop below 12 units:

Academic Leave of Absence (LOA)

If you are planning to take a leave of absence for any reason (other than medical reason), your SEVIS record must be terminated and you will be required to be outside of the U.S. You must schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor to discuss your immigration status and procedures for your return to the U.S. 

Forms Needed: Graduate Division's Academic Leave of Absence form, IC's Graduate Reduced Course Load Request form. Please submit both forms to the International Center.

Academic Leave of Absence due to Medical/Health Reasons or Part-Time Study Due to Health/Medical Reasons

If you need to be absent for one quarter or take less than 12 units due to a medical/health condition, you will need to provide documentation substantiating the medical condition.

  • You must provide a doctor's letter from a California Licensed Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, or Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
  • The doctor's letter must be on official letterhead and include: a recommendation from the doctor to take a reduced course load or absence due to a medical condition and must state that you are under a doctor's care during the quarter. Only letters on original doctor/hospital letterhead will be accepted. 
    • Letter must also include: Dates of expected medical leave (start and end), doctor's license number, doctor's signature, doctor's name, office address, and contact information.
  • It is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with an IC student advisor for specific instructions before requesting a reduced course load or absence due to a medical condition. 

Forms Needed: Graduate Division's Academic Leave of Absence or Reduced Fee Part Time Study form, IC's Graduate Reduced Course Load Request form, and an original letter from your medical doctor. Please submit all forms to the IC.

Filing Fee Status

You can request filing fee status during your last quarter at UCI. You may only use filing fee if you have not previously participated in part-time status for having less than 12 units to complete your degree. By applying for filing fee, you are expected to complete your degree at the end of the quarter, on time. Extensions of programs after filing fee status are not permitted. It is highly recommended that students maintain health insurance through the duration of Filing Fee Status.

Forms Needed: Graduate Division's Fall, Winter, Spring Filing Fee Petition OR Summer Filing Fee Petition and IC's Graduate Reduced Course Load Request form. Please submit both forms to the IC.

Part Time Study Due to Less Than 12 Units to Complete Degree Requirements

After the advisor approves your Part-Time Study form, your I-20/DS-2019 will be shortened to the end of the quarter of which your part time status is requested. You are expected to graduate at the end of the quarter. You will not be eligible for an extension of your I-20/DS-2019.

Forms Needed: Graduate Division's Reduced Fee Part Time Study Program form, and IC's Graduate Reduced Course Load Request form. Please submit both forms to the IC.

Academic Difficulty

If you are having difficulties adjusting to the teaching methods, or with the English language, you can request to enroll in less than 12 units with approval from an academic advisor. You may only request this one time. 

Forms Needed: IC's Graduate Reduced Course Load Request form.