ISSS may authorize a reduced course load or, if necessary, no course load, due to a student's temporary illness or medical condition for a period of time not to exceed an aggregate of 12 months per academic degree level.

  • Medical RCLs can only be authorized one semester at a time.
    • If a student would like to request a medical RCL for more than one semester, s/he must submit an updated request each semester and ISSS must reauthorize the medical RCL.
  • The medical RCL must be approved by ISSS prior to a student reducing his/her course load.

Medical Reduced Course Load (RCL) Documentation

To substantiate the illness/medical condition, the regulations require student’s requesting a medical RCL to submit documentation from one of the following U.S.-licensed medical practitioners:

  • U.S.-licensed Medical Doctor (MD);
  • U.S.-licensed Doctor of Osteopathy (DO); or
  • U.S.-licensed Clinical Psychologist (CP).

A letter from a practitioner other than one of the medical professionals noted above or a medical practitioner who is not licensed in the U.S. is not sufficient for the purposes of complying with the federal regulations.

Letter Requirements

The documentation must be submitted to ISSS and approved by ISSS before a student can drop below full-time for a medical reason:

  • Letter from a licensed U.S. medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist addressing the medical need for the RCL.
    • Letter must be printed on clinic/health care facility letterhead;
    • Letter should indicate the student’s full name; the illness/ medical condition and how it impacts the student; the duration or treatment/recovery; the impact on the student’s ability to maintain full-time enrollment; a recommendation for a reduced course load or no course enrollment; the basis of the recommendation, and the requested start date (month/day/year of the reduced course load);
    • Letter must specifically indicate the qualifying medical professional’s title (e.g., medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist)
    • Letter must include an original signature from the licensed medical doctor; doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist recommending the medical RCL

Requesting a Medical Reduced Course Load

In order for ISSS to authorize a reduced course load for medical reasons, you must submit the Medical Reduced Course Load Request Form (available in MyISSS portal).

  • You will be required to upload documentation from a U.S.-licensed medical professional that specifically documents the medical issue.
    • Be sure the doctor and letter meet the requirements listed in the above sections.