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Events
  • Otis welcomes the Japan Foundation and honored guests Kashiwagi Hiroshi and Yoshifumi Nakamura for a lecture on contemporary Japanese design. 
  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Matthew Brandt, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Kerry Tribe, an artist working primarily in film, video, and installation. Read more about her here
     
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • You are invited to a Movies that Matter Special Screening of the powerful new film shaping the debate about rape on college campuses, The Hunting Ground, on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:15 PM in the Otis Forum.  The Hunting Ground is a startling exposé of sexual assaults on U.S. colleges, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on the victims and their families from the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team of Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by 

  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring Hassan Khan, an artist who lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Read more about him here.

     

    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu

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Reduce Course Load

Overview

International students in F-1 status are required to maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year. If you cannot or will not meet this requirement, you must request a REDUCED COURSE LOAD (RCL). Federal immigration regulations severely limit a student's ability to be less than full time, but it may be allowed in some circumstances explained below. If you drop below full time without authorization after the drop/add deadline, Otis College is required to report this to SEVIS and you will lose your F-1status.

 

The Designated School Official (DSO) may allow an F-1 student to engage in less than a full course of study as provided below. A student who wishes to drop below full time must obtain the approval from a DSO in advance, regardless what the reason might be. A student who drops below a full course of study (after the drop-add period) without prior approval of a DSO will be considered out of status. Please be advised that a lack of financial support does not constitute a valid reason to reduce course load according to immigration regulations.

Source 8 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) § 214.2(f)(6)(iii)

 

Definition of Full Time

For undergraduate students, full time is at least 12 units per semester. For graduate students, full time is at least 9 units per semester.

NOTE: The courses you take for “audit” or “visit” do not count toward the full-time enrollment requirement for immigration purposes.

 
RCL Categories

1. Academic Difficulties, 2. Medical Conditions, 3. Completion of Course Study

 

Academic Difficulties

A student must apply for reduced course load if, due to academic difficulties, he/she is unable to be enrolled full time. He/she must first obtain a letter from his/her academic advisor to verify his/her eligibility to be part time based on academic difficulties.

 

Immigration regulations specify four academic difficulty reasons for which a reduced course load may be approved:

o   Initial difficulties with the English language (usable only in student’s first year)

o   Initial difficulties with reading requirements (usable only in student’s first year)

o   Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods

o   Improper course level placement

 

  • A student may be authorized for a reduced course load on the “academic difficulties” basis only for a single term during any one course of study at a particular program level, and must resume a full course of study at the next available term (excluding summer).
  • A reduced course load for academic difficulties must consist of at least 6 units for undergraduate students and at least 4 units for graduate students.

Source: [8 CFR § 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(A)]

 

Medical Conditions

A student must apply for RCL if, due to a temporary illness or medical condition, he/she is unable to be enrolled full time (or, if necessary, no course load).

  • The student must provide medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist, to the DSO to substantiate the illness or medical condition.
  • The letter from the medical provider cannot be dated more than 30 days before the start of the term for which the RCL is requested.
  • The letter from the medical provider must recommend either that the student be part time or not enrolled due to medical circumstances.
  • A reduced course load for a medical condition can be granted for a period of time not to exceed an aggregate of 12 months while the student is pursuing a course of study at a particular program level.
  • The student must provide current medical documentation and the DSO must authorize the drop below full time for each new term. MEDICAL DOCTOR SAMPLE LETTER

Source: [8 CFR § 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(B)]

 

Completion of Course of Study

A student must apply for RCL in his/her final term if fewer courses (i.e. less than full time) are needed and required to complete the course of study.

The student must obtain a letter from his/her academic advisor to verify that the current term will be the final term for the student to complete his/her academic program.

Source: [8 CFR § 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(C)]

 

How To Apply For a Reduced Course Load

1. Complete a Reduce Course Load Request

2. Obtain supporting documentation as needed

3. Submit your Reduce Course Load Request to Alia Saeed, DSO located in the Registration Office. Ph# 310-665-6950 or email asaeed@otis.edu.