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Undergraduate Affairs

Course load, credit/no credit, and 10-semester limit

The sections below describe the rules governing course loads. Students should also be aware that the university places a limit on the total number of semesters that you may enroll.

Maximum and minimum course loads

An earned AHS degree is evidence that the student has followed a carefully planned and challenging program of study. In order to make normal progress toward a degree, the student is expected to be a full-time student.

Normal progress toward the degree in eight semesters is maintained by enrolling in an average of 15 credit hours per semester. The minimum course load required for full-time status is 12 hours.

The student registration system will not automatically block you from initiating a drop action that may bring you below the required full-time status. You are responsible for the following proper procedure noted in the section below on "Course Underloads." Also note:

  • Students who drop below 12 hours without the prior approval of the college may lose the privilege of further enrollment.
  • International students are required to consult International Student and Scholar Services before initiating any change in their course schedule.
  • Students on academic warning are required to meet academic performance standards gauged on a 12-credit-hour load.

Course underloads (under 12 hours)

AHS approves course loads of less than 12 hours in special circumstances, such as seniors in their final semester who need fewer than 12 hours to graduate and students with a documented illness who are unable to carry a full load (medical documentation is required). Students may request an underload for other reasons, but the college generally does not approve more than one such request. To get permission for an underload, contact your Academic Advisor.

Course overloads (over 18 hours)

Students may carry as many as 18 hours without special permission. Approval for programs of more than 18 hours (overload) must be obtained from the college. Overload permissions are generally granted in the registration system the day before classes begin (for example, spring semester overloads are available the day before spring classes start). To get permission for an overload, contact your Academic Advisor.

Credit/no credit option

The credit/no credit option encourages students to explore subjects outside their major.

Timeline for selecting the option

Students must choose the credit/no credit option during the first half of the course term (for example, the first eight weeks of the semester, the fourth week of the summer session, or by the fourth week of an eight-week course), or before completing half the lessons of a correspondence course. Students must file a credit/no credit form with AHS Undergraduate Affairs after speaking with their academic advisor (as their approval will be required on the form).

Amending your request

If students later want to return to the traditional grade option, they must file an amended request with AHS Undergraduate Affairs during the first half of the course term or before they complete half the lessons of a correspondence course. Be advised that petitions to change the grading option in a course which are submitted after the midterm deadline can be approved only when extenuating circumstances that might merit such a change are identified and documented.

To change to or from the credit/no credit option, students must obtain approval from their advisor. Students cannot be self-advising in this matter.

Be careful about using this option if...

  • You plan to apply to professional or graduate school. Students who accumulate 10 percent or more of their hours through the credit/no credit option may be forced to rely on achieving high scores on the nationally administered objective admission tests like the MCAT and LSAT. In addition, some graduate schools will not accept prerequisite coursework taken for credit/no credit – a grade must be reported to satisfy the admission requirement. Students must confirm with the graduate programs they plan to apply to before electing the credit/no credit option.
  • It may also affect your membership in an honorary society.

Restrictions on using the credit/no credit option

The credit/no credit option may not be used with courses graded as satisfactory/unsatisfactory, or with courses that satisfy general education requirements needed for graduation, courses specifically required by the college for graduation, or courses specifically designated by the curriculum as satisfying the student's major (including supporting work and minors). This includes any course taken to fulfill the Composition I and Advanced Composition requirements, foreign language courses taken to fulfill graduation requirements, and courses taken to fulfill general education requirements.

Full-time students may take no more than two courses in any one semester under this option (one course during summer school).

Part-time students may take one course for credit/no credit in any one semester.

A student on academic warning may not exercise the credit/no credit option.

A maximum of 18 hours of C/NC may be counted toward a degree.

A NetMath or other course of non-traditional length may be taken credit/no credit provided that the course is not otherwise excluded from the option by the reasons above. (Such courses on credit/no credit will count as a credit/no credit course for each semester in which the student is enrolled in the university until the course is completed.)

Note: A final grade of CR or NC is entered on the student's permanent academic record.

Ten-semester limit on enrollment

Each student is assigned an Expected Graduation Date, which represents the last semester for which he or she is authorized to register. Students in AHS are accorded a maximum of 10 semesters of eligibility for enrollment for completion of degree. The 10 semesters include enrollment in all post-secondary institutions attended, not just enrollment at U of I.

Students who complete their degree requirements in fewer than eight semesters and do not put their name on the degree list will be allowed to register for subsequent semesters.

  • Extensions of enrollment eligibility. Students may request approval for extended enrollment by consulting with the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs. An extension beyond 10 semesters requires extenuating circumstances, is rare, and is at the assistant dean's discretion. Extensions in most academic areas are prohibited because of crowded program conditions; for similar reasons, extensions are not granted for the purpose of completing a minor or pursuing a second baccalaureate degree.