Academic Advising

Finding the Course Load That's Right for You

Credits are the academic requirements that must be fulfilled to earn a degree. Each credit hour generally represents the number of hours spent in class to fulfill that requirement.

The minimum full time course load is 12 credits. The maximum course load is 18 credits in Terms I and II, and 12 credits in the concentrated Express (12-week) and Summer (10-week) terms. Students who work part time may succeed with a 12-to-17 hour academic load, but few students are able to work full time and succeed in a full-time course load. 

To succeed, you will generally need to study two hours outside of class for every hour in class. So if you take 15 credits, you'll need to devote about 45 total hours per week to your college studies.

It's best not to cram too much into your academic schedule, and you should consider your time commitments before you fill out your schedule. This chart displays the recommended academic load based on the number of hours you work per week. While not mandatory, these recommendations are made to ensure your college success.

Recommended Academic Load
  Term I or II
(16 weeks)
Express Term
(12 weeks)
Term III
Summer (10 weeks)
Express Term
(6 weeks)
20 hrs/week 12-15 credits 9-12 credits 6-10 credits 4-6 credits
30 hrs/week 9-12 credits 6-9 credits 3-6 credits 3-5 credits
40 hrs/week 6-9 credits 3-6 credits 3-5 credits 2-4 credits


First Time in College Academic Load

If this is your first time in college, you should be aware of course limitations. Course limitations are meant to help you succeed in your academics. A successful course is one in which you earn a final grade of an A, B, or C. If you do not succeed in your courses, you could face academic suspension and lose your eligibility for financial aid.

If you do not maintain an overall 2.0 GPA and achieve a 75% success rate each term, your course load will be limited to 12 credits in Fall, 12 credits in Spring, and 7 credits in the Express and Summer terms.

If you do not maintain a 2.0 GPA and achieve a 67% success rate after one term of a limited course load, additional limits may be placed on the number of courses you can take. Your courses may be limited to the number of credits successfully completed in the previous term (minimum of 6 credits).

Total credit hours of successful classes ÷ *Total credit hours attempted = Success Rate

*Total credit hours attempted includes all classes in which you earn a grade or from which you withdraw.


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