Reduced Course Load

Generally, you should be enrolled full time each semester. You can enroll less than full time in certain situations, but you will need to get approval from your ISSS advisor first.


Special circumstances

You can reduce your course load for these reasons:

  • You need less than a full course load to complete your program during your last semester.
    • If you need only one course to finish your program of study, it cannot be taken through online/distance education as there must be a physical presence classroom requirement for the course (not just for you, but for all students in that course). 
  • You're experiencing academic difficulties: 
    • Initial academic difficulties during your first year (initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, or unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods) or 
    • Academic difficulties due to an improper course level placement
    • You can get a reduced course load for academic reasons for a total of 1 semester during your program.
    • You will still need to be enrolled at least half-time (e.g. at least 6 credit hours for undergraduate students).
  • Medical issues prevent you from studying full time. You can get a reduced course load for medical reasons for a total of 12 months during your program.

Getting a reduced course load for academic reasons has no effect on your ability to get a reduced course load for medical reasons, and vice versa. For example, you can have a reduced course load for academic reasons during your first semester, and then get a reduced course load later on for medical reasons.

NOTE: If you are taking a leave from Emory in fall and want to stay in the US in the preceding summer, you need to enroll full-time in the summer semester as you are not returning to resume full-time studies in the fall semester.  


Procedure

Academic reasons

  1. Discuss your plans with your academic advisor or dean.
  2. Log in to ISSS Link to complete the Reduced Course Load Authorization e-form, and include contact information for your academic advisor or dean.

The form will be sent to your academic advisor or dean, and once it's approved, we will email you to let you know that your new form I-20 or DS-2019 is ready to be signed and picked up. We will need 5 business days for processing.

After you receive your new I-20 or DS-2019, you can drop below a full course load.

Medical reasons

  1. Get a letter or other documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist in the US indicating what level of coursework you are able to carry (if any) during the current term. This information will be held in your protected record but your academic advisor will be able to see it, so please don't include any specifics of your medical condition or treatment.
  2. Discuss your plans with your academic advisor or dean. You don't need to share the details of your medical condition with them.
  3. Log in to ISSS Link to complete the Reduced Course Load Authorization e-form, and include contact information for your academic advisor or dean. You'll need to upload the letter from your US doctor.

The form will be sent to your academic advisor or dean, and once it's approved, we will email you to let you know that your new form I-20 or DS-2019 is ready to be signed and picked up. We will need 5 business days for processing.

After you receive your new I-20 or DS-2019, you can drop below a full course load.