Reduced Course Load due to Medical Condition

Find out what you need to do to reduce your course load due to a medical condition.

Letter Needed for a Medical Reduced Course Load Application

Am I Eligible for a Medical Reduced Course Load?

Eligibility Requirements:

  • F-1 students are permitted to reduce their course load below full-time if they have a medical condition or illness.
  • Students must obtain a written recommendation from a licensed medical professional (e.g. physician, osteopath or licensed clinical psychologist). Here is a Sample Doctor's Letter.
  • The medical recommendation must include the reason for the recommendation, the number of credits you may take, and the length of time the course load reduction is necessary.
  • Students may have a maximum of 12 months of Reduced Course Load Due to a Medical Condition per degree level.
  • Students must never drop below a full course of study without prior Designated School Official (DSO) authorization.

PLEASE NOTE: A Reduced Course Load Due to Medical Condition is different from a Leave of Absence. If you take a regular Leave of Absence from the University, you must depart the U.S. whereas a Reduced Course Load Due to Medical Condition (when approved by a Designated School Official) allows you to remain in the U.S. and maintain your F-1 status while seeking medical treatment inside the U.S. If you cannot register for any classes due to a medical condition, you should also apply for a Medical Leave of Absence from UB. To apply for it, you will need to meet with your Academic Advisor as well as an International Student Advisor.

How Do I Apply for a Medical Reduced Course Load?

Follow the directions below to submit the completed form to ISS:

  1. Login to myISSS.  Click on the blue “LOGIN” button on the left side of the screen and enter your UBIT Name and Password.  Note: Do NOT click on “Administrative Services for University Departments”.
  2. Click on “F-1 Student Services” and then ““Request for a Reduced Course Load Due to Medical Condition”. You must complete the entire E-form and upload a copy of the letter.  As required by F-1 regulations, this letter must be signed by a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or a licensed clinical psychologist.  Note: Only documents saved as a PDF or JPEG are acceptable.  

Note: Medical Reduced Course Loads are issued on a semester basis. If a student needs more than one semester of a Reduced Course Load due to medical condition, s/he must submit a new doctor’s letter. Authorization may not exceed an aggregate of 12 months during any program level.

Page Updated 5/18