International students are required to maintain their full-time enrollment status at MIT in order to maintain their student visa status.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations do provide for the ability of an international student in F-1 status to be enrolled for less than full-time with approval from the ISO only under the following conditions:
- Initial difficulty with English language (documented by academic program; usually only eligible during first term in the U.S.)
- Improper subject placement (documented by academic program; usually only eligible during first term in the U.S.)
- Valid/documented medical reason (documentation from physician/doctor is required; support of reduced course load required by academic program/Office of Graduate Education for Graduate Students, or for Undergraduate Students support from the Office of Undergraduate Education or Student Support Services)
With MIT approval and documentation, students should be in contact with their ISO Advisor so appropriate notification of authorized Reduced Course Load can be completed in SEVIS.
USDHS regulations provide a maximum of 12 months of authorized Reduced Course Load per degree level.
Students in J-1 status with questions about dropping below a full-time course of study must consult with their ISO Advisor to obtain appropriate authorization.