Student Course Loads & Overloads


Student Course Loads and Overloads

Courses taken in addition to the prescribed term load for a given program are called "overload" courses. As a general rule, access to overload courses is limited to high-achieving students and students with exceptional circumstances as determined by the Dean of the Faculty.

In most cases, a normal course load is five 3.0 credit courses (or equivalent) per twelve-week semester (Fall Semester, Winter Semester, or Summer Semester [which includes Intersession and Summer Session]). In exceptional cases, a program's standard course load will be stated in its calendar description.

A normal course load in the two six-week sessions (Intersession and Summer Session) is three 3.0 credit courses (or equivalent) per session, but not more than five 3.0 credit courses (or equivalent) in total over a twelve‐week period. Semester 1 students are permitted to take a single overload course only with the explicit approval of the Dean of the Faculty (or designate – typically the Associate Dean).

In all other semesters, students who have both major and cumulative averages of 85% or higher may take one overload course per semester. No permission is required for academically qualified students in this case.

In exceptional circumstances, the Dean of the Faculty (or designate) may exercise his or her discretion to grant any student, including those who do not meet the 85% threshold, permission to take one or more overload courses.

Please read the University's Senate Policy on Undergraduate Course Overload for complete details.


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