Maximum and Minimum Course Loads

Students will need to average 15-16 credit hours per semester to finish a degree in eight semesters. The minimum course load required for full-time status in the Fall or Spring semesters is 12 credit hours. The maximum credit load allowed is 18 credit hours. Students wishing to go above 18 credit hours (Overload) or below 12 credit hours (Underload) must have approval from their undergraduate college.

Course Underloads

Gies 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 documented extenuating circumstances. Students wishing to request an Underload can complete the necessary form.

Points of Consideration:

  • International students must consult the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and first be approved through that office before initiating any change in their course schedule.
  • Documentation is important in the Underload approval process. Students experiencing extenuating circumstances due to illness, medical, or disability issues should work with McKinley Health Center, the Office of the Dean of Students, or their DRES specialist to provide a letter of support or documentation to support the Underload request.
  • Students on academic probation must maintain full-time status. Students on academic probation who feel they need to be part-time due to documented extenuating circumstances can request to speak with the Director of Scholarships & Academic Success Programs in Gies Undergraduate Affairs.
  • Underloads can make it difficult for students to complete their degrees on time. Therefore, students may underload for only one semester at UIUC unless special circumstances, as outlined above, apply.
  • It is the student's responsibility to inquire as to how an Underload could impact a student’s scholarships & financial aid.Financial Aid: https://osfa.illinois.edu
  • It is the student's responsibility to drop applicable courses from their schedule before the posted deadlines.
  • Underload requests will be reviewed as they are submitted on a rolling basis.
  • Students must be registered for the semester that they are requesting an Underload and a decision on their request will be sent to students via their Illinois email.

Course Overloads

Students may enroll in as many as 18 credit hours for a Fall or Spring semester (up to 9 credit hours in summer). Students wishing to take more than 18 credit hours (or 9 credit hours in the summer) must gain approval from their undergraduate college. Students wishing to request an Overload can complete the necessary form.

  • New, first-time freshmen may not overload in their first or second semester.
  • Transfer students (Intercollegiate Transfer and Off-Campus Transfer) may not overload in their first semester in the Gies College of Business.
  • Requests of 19–20 hours will be approved only if the student has at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA and has successful completed 15–16 hours in each of the prior two semesters.
  • Requests of over 20 hours will be considered only if the student has at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA and has successfully completed 15–16 hours in each of the prior two semesters.
  • Students in the Gies College of Business may not exceed two approved overloads within the 9-semester limit.
  • Approved overloads will be applied to student accounts after priority registration for Spring semester registration (typically early December) and mid-August for Fall semester registration.