Academic Credit and Course Load

The unit of academic credit is the semester hour, which normally represents one hour of lecture or recitation each week per semester. Seminars, research courses, and laboratories bear academic credit appropriate to the work expected of the student in the course.

The maximum course load for a full-time graduate student is 15 credit hours per semester during the academic year, 6 credit hours in each summer session, and 4 credit hours during J-Term. Students employed full-time may not carry more than 6 credit hours per semester during the academic year. Graduate assistants normally carry a course load of 6 to 9 semester hours during the fall and spring. These limits may be waived in consultation with the student's advisor, and permission of the department chair, Dean of the College of Education (for education programs only), and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. The form is available on the Graduate Studies website:

Upon recommendation of the chairperson of a student's major department and with the approval of the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, work experience directly related to the student's academic program may be given academic credit via the appropriate departmental, school, or college Independent Study course number. Decisions about such credit are subject to the requirements for independent study in the department and include approval prior to the work experience except in unusual circumstances. In all cases, graduate students seeking approval for prior experience are asked to submit documentation of their experience, including letters of support from supervisors and additional evidence of the applicability of the experience to the standards, content, and breadth of the graduate program. A maximum of 6 credit hours may be awarded and applied toward fulfillment of graduate degree program requirements.