There are very few exceptions to the full-time course load rule. Students must request approval from an International Student Advisor before dropping below full-time academic status.
To obtain approval, students must submit a signed and completed Reduced Course Load (RCL) form to CIE.
Students who drop below a full course of study without the prior approval from CIE will be considered out of status and must be reported in SEVIS. The student's SEVIS record will be terminated and they will lose F-1 status and their employment eligibility and other benefits.
The Reduced Course Load form has additional information and instructions.