The academic course load policy determines the minimum and maximum number of hours students may take during a term and are detailed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Students must be enrolled in 12 academic hours to be considered full-time. Those seeking exceptions to these rules must follow appropriate procedures as outlined below. Students seeking to enroll in less than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term are encouraged to also consider transferring to part-time classroom studies which allows them to enroll in eight (8) or fewer academic hours. Students may consult with an academic advisor during drop-in hours to discuss their options.
Students who have a financial aid package, receive financial aid or who are a part of one or more scholarship programs are advised to check with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to understand how any course drops might affect their financial aid in the current term and/or their eligibility to receive financial aid in future terms.
Before the end of the second week of classes:
Students contending with issues of a medical nature which they believe necessitates enrollment in less than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term must consult with either Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services about a medical underload. These offices, in turn, recommend medical underloads or suggest alternate courses of action. Recommendations for medical underloads for students in the College of Arts & Sciences are reviewed by the Associate Dean in the Academic Advising Program. If approved, they must see an academic advisor or dean in Academic Advising to drop any course(s). The student must initiate a drop request before the end of the last day of classes during the term.
After the second week of classes:
Students seeking a medical underload after the second week of classes in a fall or spring term must submit an appeal to the dean of their college. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences and the General College should complete the Academic Appeal form and submit appropriate documentation to the Academic Advising Program.
Academic Appeals for an Underload
If a student experiences non-medically related extenuating circumstances that they believe necessitates a schedule of less than 12 academic hours in a fall or spring term, the student may appeal to the dean of their college for permission to drop below 12 hours. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences and the General College should complete the Academic Appeal form and submit appropriate documentation to the Academic Advising Program. Approval to drop below nine (9) hours is rarely granted.
Seniors in their final semester who do not require 12 or more academic hours to complete graduation requirements may request an underload as part of the graduation application process. Details are available on the Senior Underload section of our web page.