Course Load

Full-time study for graduate students is usually defined as a minimum of 9 credit hours per term. The maximum load for full-time graduate students is 12 credit hours in one term and 6 credit hours in a summer session, except for programs that require different loads. Please refer to the specific program for maximum credit hour information.

School of Creative and Professional Writing students take up to 16 credit hours per semester.

Psychology students who are taking a practicum can carry a maximum of 14 hours per term.

Doctoral students working on dissertation and carrying 1 to 4 credit hours in a term are half-time students for a maximum of five terms, after which they drop below half-time status. Any graduate student wishing to exceed these limits must have permission from their school chair or program director and from the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Please note that academic course load requirements are not the same as course load requirements for financial aid purposes. For financial aid purposes, a graduate student must be in a minimum of 9 credit hours in a Fall, Spring, or Summer term to be considered full-time. Only the following exceptions are made:

  • For the MSN program, full time is defined as 9 credit hours or a minimum of 8 credit hours when one of the courses includes NURS 664, NURS 665 or NURS 675.
  • Doctor of Psychology students in practicum are defined as full-time at 8 credit hours and as half-time at 4 credit hours.
  • Doctor of Psychology students in internship are considered full-time at 1 credit hour.
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy students enrolled in Level II Fieldwork are considered full-time at 8 credit hours
  • Any doctoral student in dissertation is full-time at 5 or more total credit hours, for a maximum of five terms. This can be 5 or more hours of dissertation, 3 hours of dissertation plus 2 hours or more of other graduate classes, or 1 hour of dissertation plus 4 or more hours of additional graduate classes.

Also for financial aid purposes, any graduate student in 5, 6, or 7 hours is considered half-time. The only exception is for doctoral students in dissertation, who are considered half-time at 1 to 4 credit hours per term, for a maximum of five terms