Skip to Main Content

For information about COVID-19 policies and restrictions on campus, please visit the UCLA COVID-19 resources website.

UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars

J-1 students are required to maintain full-time enrollment and make normal academic progress toward completion of their degree or exchange program.

  • Undergraduate Students: minimum of 12 units per academic quarter (students are not required to enroll full-time for Summer Quarter).
  • Graduate Students : minimum of 8-12 units per academic quarter (please check with your department for full-time course load unit requirements).

* J-1 students can only count one course of online coursework toward the full-time enrollment requirement.

Failure to maintain full-time enrollment during your program will result in severe consequences for your J-1 status.

J-1 students may be authorized by the Dashew Center to drop below full-time enrollment for the following circumstances:

  • Academic Difficulty: student has difficulty with a course due to improper course placement, initial difficulty with reading requirements, or unfamiliarity with UCLA teaching methods (this reason can only be used once during the program).
  • Illness/Medical Condition: student has a medical condition (medical doctor's recommendation letter required).
  • Final Quarter at UCLA (option not available for exchange students): student has less units remaining to complete their program than is required to maintain full-time enrollment.

To request authorization for a Reduced Course Load (RCL):

  • Step 1: Complete the RCL Request Form
    Complete the top portion of the RCL Request form and have your Academic Counselor/
    EAP Advisor complete the bottom portion of the form, confirming the reason for your RCL request.
    *Academic Difficulty RCL: Students must maintain at least 50% of full-time enrollment.
    *Final Quarter RCL: Students must be enrolled in at least one degree required course during their final quarter.

  • Step 2: Obtain a Recommendation Letter from a Medical Doctor, Ashe Student Health Center, or UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (for Medical RCL Requests only)
    Obtain a support letter from a U.S. medical doctor recommending you to drop below full-time enrollment or drop all enrollment for a specific academic term due to a medical condition.

  • Step 3: Schedule an Appointment with the Dashew Center
    Schedule an appointment with a J-1 counselor to submit your RCL Request form (appointment required). The Dashew Center must receive Academic Difficulty and Final Quarter RCL Requests by the end of Week 2 of the quarter you will be dropping below full-time enrollment. A J-1 Counselor will confirm your RCL authorization after your request has been accepted.

J-1 students are not allowed to drop below full-time enrollment without receiving prior authorization for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) from DCISS.