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 UCLA degree 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 or
    UCEAP 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 the Dashew Center.