Students must pursue a “full course of study at all times” (except for summer breaks which is considered an official break by USCIS). A full course load is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours for graduate students. Do not drop below full-time without authorization from a Baylor Designated School Official (DSO). A student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of the DSO will be considered out of status.
The U.S. Government stipulates the reasons for which a Reduced Course Load (RCL) can be granted. The reasons include:
--Initial Difficulty with English Language
--Initial Difficulty with Reading Requirements
--Unfamiliarity with American Teaching Methods
--Improper Course Level Placement
--To Complete Course of Study in Current Term
The exceptions to the "full course of study" requirement are limited, but very important. In the situations described above, F-1 students are considered to be maintaining status even if they are not registered for a full course of study, and they continue to be eligible for F-1 benefits if they are otherwise eligible.