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13-credit policy

If you are a degree-seeking undergraduate student, including transfer, you are required to pay a flat tuition rate based on 13 credits no matter what your credit load. This means that any credits beyond 13 are available at no additional charge. Even when you take 12 or fewer credits, you will pay the 13-credit flat tuition rate. The policy does not apply to May or summer sessions.

Cost and time savings

The 13-credit policy was adopted to encourage graduation in four years by students who average 15 credits per term. It is a choice that can save you both time and money. For example, you could save around $12,000 by graduating in four years, rather than five. Simply put, your education will cost you less as you are able to increase your credit load. Take a look at this graphic that illustrates the cost of four-, five-, and six-year graduation scenarios.


Students who are exempt from the 13-credit policy are charged per credit for credits 1-12. To be approved to pay the reduced rates for tuition and the general, college and program, and service and usage fees, you must submit a 13-credit Exemption Request, due the end of the fourth week of the term.

If you are considering an exemption from the 13-credit policy, find out what impacts it will have on your financial aid. Different types of aid have different enrollment requirements. For example, to be eligible for the maximum state grant award, you must be enrolled in at least 15 credits per semester. Your decision to enroll in less than 13 credits may impact your eligibility for certain types of aid.

If you are an international student with an F-1 or J-1 visa, you are subject to specific credit load requirements by U.S. immigration law. Read more about international student credit load policies from International Student Scholar Services.

You are automatically exempt from the 13-credit policy if you:

  • Have a disability for which the Disability Resource Center has determined that a reduced credit load is an appropriate accommodation.
  • Work for the University and are enrolled on a Regents Scholarship.
  • Are a non-degree student.

If your circumstances prevent registering for 13 or more credits, the deadline for applying for an exemption is the end of the fourth week of the term. See the current academic calendar for specific dates. Complete the online 13-Credit Exemption Request, or print and fill out the 13-Credit Exemption Request PDF version.

Exemption approval examples:

  • Graduating senior: If you are a graduating senior, you may be exempt if you need fewer than 26 credits to complete the credits required to graduate.
  • Significant family or financial responsibilities: If you have family or childcare responsibilities, you may need to be a part-time student. If approved, you may work on your degree at a pace suited to your life situation.
  • Internship, co-op program, or other unique educational or career opportunity: If you want to pursue a unique academic opportunity that precludes full-time status, you may petition for a temporary reduced credit load through your college.
  • Work responsibilities: Full-time employment (even 15-20 hours a week) will be considered as part of a whole picture of your life circumstances in reviewing your request for reduced credit load.
  • Medical condition: If you have a medical condition, illness, or incapacity, you may file a request for temporary or permanent exemption (with appropriate medical documentation) through your college. Complete a Medical Supplement Form if applicable.

Important Dates


Thu, Dec 22, 2016 End of semester
Tue, Jan 17, 2017 Spring semester begins
Sat, May 13, 2017 End of semester