Full-time credits

The University determines your enrollment status based on how many credits you take each semester. This information applies whether you are degree-seeking or taking classes as non-degree. Your enrollment can have impacts to your student status, your financial aid, veteran benefits, and other aspects of your academic career.

Credit enrollment definitions by student type
Student type Full-time credits Part-time credits Half-time credits Less than half-time credits
Undergraduate 12+ 9 to 11 6 to 8 1 to 5
Graduate* 6+ 4 to 5 3 1 to 2
Professional** 12+ 9 to 11 6 to 8 1 to 5
Veterinary Medicine 9+ 7 to 8 4 to 6 1 to 3

*Includes students enrolled in the Graduate School, Medical Doctor, Dental Fellow Specialist, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Public Health, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy.
**Includes students enrolled in the Law School, School of Dentistry, and School of Pharmacy programs.

Flat rate tuition for undergraduates

If you're an undergraduate student who is degree-seeking, you'll be charged a flat tuition rate based on 13 credits no matter how many credits you register for. Any credits beyond 13 are available at no additional charge. Even when you take 12 or fewer credits, you will pay the flat tuition rate (unless you request an exemption). The flat tuition rate does not apply to summer or May terms.

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Automatic exemptions

You are automatically exempt from the 13-credit flat rate tuition if you:

  • Are a non-degree student.
  • You need fewer than 26 credits to graduate.
  • 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.

Request an exemption

If taking fewer than 13 credits during fall or spring, you may request an exemption to pay tuition and fees per credit. Submit a 13-credit exemption request (requires UMN login) by the end of week 4 of the semester.

Examples of approved exemptions

  • Significant family or financial responsibilities
  • Internship, co-op program, or other unique educational or career opportunity
  • Work responsibilities
  • Medical condition (submit medical documentation via Medical Supplement form)

Potential impacts

Submit 13-credit exemption request

Veteran education benefits credit requirements

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has their own way of defining full-time enrollment status. Your VA benefits will vary based on your program, the number of credits you take, and the start and end dates of your classes. The VA looks at how many credits you are enrolled in on a given day rather than how many credits you take over the course of a semester.  

For questions about enrollment and veteran benefits, contact University Veteran Services.

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GI Bill® requirements

Your GI Bill® benefit eligibility will be determined by your enrollment status. If you are not enrolled full time (12 or more credits) your benefits will be prorated. The University’s 13 credit policy still applies to students using veteran benefits and the VA will only pay for the cost of the credits you are enrolled in. This means if you take 12 or fewer credits and do not request a 13-credit exemption you will be responsible for any uncovered costs.

If you have questions about your payment amount, the VA Education Office can be reached at 1-888-442-4551.

Chapter 33 enrollment information

If you are enrolled:

  • More than half-time, you will receive prorated monthly payments (e.g., 7-11 undergraduate or 4-5 graduate credits). Your monthly checks will be based on the prorated monthly rate of payment. For Chapter 33, your tuition payments will remain at your level of eligibility.
  • Half-time or less, you will not be eligible to receive the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
  • For distance learning only, you will receive half of the national average for the BAH. You must be taking at least one in-person course to receive the full BAH amounts.

Chapters 30, 31, 35, 1606 enrollment information

If you are enrolled less than full-time, you will receive prorated monthly payments of your education benefits. 


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Summer enrollment

The University of Minnesota does not have one standard summer term. If you plan to take classes during the May or summer terms your full-time status may be different than you expect. Your benefits will vary based on your program, the number of credits you take, and the length of your classes. 

For summer or May term classes it can be difficult to determine if you are full-time or not. Please contact University Veteran Services for help.

Financial aid eligibility

Most financial aid awards require that you enroll in a minimum number of credits to receive the award.

Max credit enrollment

Undergraduate students may not register for more than 20 credits per fall or spring semester, or more than 15 credits in summer. Contact your college to request to exceed the maximum credit load.

In most programs, graduate students may not register for more than 18 credits per semester. Contact your program to learn more or to make a request to exceed the maximum credit load.

Maintain active status


You must maintain continuous enrollment (i.e. register for classes) every fall and spring term. This is called maintaining “active” status. However, if you do not register for classes for a single term (with the exception of summer), your student status will be discontinued, or moved to “inactive” status. As an undergraduate, if you do not register for two or more consecutive semesters and at a later date wish to resume your studies at the University, you will have to apply for readmission.

If you need to take time off, a leave of absence may be appropriate. Speak with your advisor.

Graduate and professional

As a graduate or professional student, you must maintain active status in order to continue with your degree. If you do not register for a fall or spring semester, you will be withdrawn and your student record will be deactivated. In this situation, you may have to re-apply to your degree program in order to continue your studies. Find more information in the grad leave policy.

A leave of absence or special registration may be appropriate to allow you to take time off. Talk with your director of graduate studies, advisor, or department.