Course load

A normal full-time schedule is defined as 3 to 4.5 units per semester, or 6 to 9 units per year exclusive of physical education. A minimum of 30 units is required for graduation.


An overload is any semester schedule over 4.5 units.  For overloads of 5 units, students get approval from their academic adviser on an add-drop form if they meet the criteria of a 3.0 minimum grade point average and no grade lower than a B- in the previous semester.  For overloads of more than 5 units or students with a compelling rationale who do not meet the criteria, a petition for waiver of policy is required.


The minimum required semester course load is 3 units. Prior to the start of the term, or during the first two weeks of the semester, students may petition the Administration Committee to carry a course load below 3 units with reduced tuition. After the first two weeks of the semester, dropping or withdrawing to fewer than 3 units requires a Request for a Semester Course Load Below 3 Units. This form requires approval from the academic adviser. After the second week of the semester, students are assessed the full semester’s tuition, even if approved to carry a course load below 3 units. Students enrolled for two or more units must pay the student body fee.

Seniors in their thesis year may carry no fewer than two academic units (including thesis) in the fall or spring semester; however, a Request for a Semester Course Load Below 3 Units is still required after the second week of the semester. Seniors must be registered for 4 units in the preceding or subsequent semester to fulfill the six unit thesis year requirement.

The above does not apply to students participating in part-time programs such as Young Scholars, Language Scholars, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies.

(Page last modified: January 29, 2024)