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. Part-time enrollment under certain conditions may be allowed.

  • To keep your visa status, you must request authorization from an International Center advisor before dropping below full-time.
  • You can only apply for part time one quarter at a time.
  • Your SEVIS record must be updated to reflect your enrollment status.

Be sure to also review the Registrar’s Office Part-Time information here.

Reasons you may drop below 12 units, (or 6 units when Summer is your final quarter):

Academic Difficulty

Eligibility: This option can be used one time for one of the following reasons: Initial difficulties with the English language, Initial difficulties with Reading requirements, Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods, or Improper course level placement.

Final Quarter

Eligibility: This option can be used one time if you need to go part-time to complete all degree requirements. You must complete all degree requirements by the end of the quarter which you requested part-time.


Eligibility: This option can be used up to 3 quarters. If you need to enroll part-time due to a medical/health condition, and will be treated in the U.S. by a U.S. Doctor, and are able to provide the following:

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

Steps to Apply:

  • Apply on the Registrar’s Office StudentAccess page
  • Select the term which you are requesting part time
    • As an international student, you can only apply one quarter at a time
  • Select your reason for applying
    • You must also enter a brief reason for applying
  • If you are applying based on Health/Medical you must also upload your Doctor’s Letter to the Student Request Upload Tool

Part-Time Study During Summer

If you will finish your degree program during Summer and enroll in less than 6 units, to apply for part-time status during your final quarter, you must upload the following documents to the Student Request Upload Tool for review by the International Center:

  • Reduced Course Load form
  • Proof of summer enrollment (Example: email confirmation from UCI Summer Session or screenshot of your study list)

Additional Reasons for Graduate Students

Filing Fee Status

Eligibility: 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.

Steps to Apply for Filing Fee: