College of LAS « Illinois

Course Load, Credit/No Credit, and Ten-Semester Limit

Maximum and Minimum Course Loads | Credit/No Credit | Ten-Semester Limit

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

Maximum and Minimum Course Loads

An earned LAS 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 the Office of International Student Affairs before initiating any change in their course schedule.
  • Students on probation are required to meet academic performance standards gauged on a 12-credit-hour load.

Course Underloads (under 12 hours)

LAS 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. Permission for an "underload" is obtained at LAS Student Academic Affairs.

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 (i.e., spring semester overloads are available the day before spring classes start).

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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 (e.g., 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 LAS Student Academic Affairs after receiving written approval from their advisor.

Amending Your Request

If students later want to return to the traditional grade option, they must file an amended request with LAS Student Academic 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 (e.g., the MCAT and LSAT).
  • 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 the college's General Education requirements, 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 or foreign language courses taken to fulfill graduation requirements.
  • Full-time students may take no more than two courses in any one semester under this option (one course during summer school). An exception is possible for study abroad.
  • Part-time students may take one course for credit/no credit in any one semester.
  • A student on probation may not exercise the credit/no credit option.
  • A correspondence course may be taken credit/no credit provided that the course is not excluded from the option. (A correspondence course on credit/no credit will count as the credit/no credit course for each semester in which the student is enrolled in the University until the course is completed.)
  • Students must earn at least a grade of C- to receive credit under this option.
  • A maximum of 18 hours of work taken as credit/no credit may be counted toward a degree.

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

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Ten-Semester Limit on Enrollment

Each student is assigned an Expected Graduation Date (EGD), which represents the last semester for which he or she is authorized to register. Students in LAS 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 a dean or an admissions/records officer in LAS Student Academic Affairs. An extension beyond 10 semesters requires extenuating circumstances, is rare, and is at the associate 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, a second major, or pursuing a second baccalaureate degree.

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