Academic Course Load

A normal load is 12 to 18 hours per long semester. The academic load statuses below are based on all courses sharing the same semester class start dates. The statuses below do not apply when a student enrolls in courses with multiple start dates throughout a semester, as well as different course lengths (number of weeks).

  • Full Time

    - 12 or more semester credit hours during the 16-week fall or spring semester.

    - 8 or more semester credit hours during the 10-week summer session.

    - 6 semester credit hours per 8-week term.

    - 4 or more semester credit hours per 5 ½-weeks summer semester.

  • Three-Quarter Time

    - 9 to 11 semester credit hours during the 16-week fall or spring semester.

    - 5 semester credit hours per 8-week term.

  • Half Time

    - 6 to 8 credit hours during the 16-weeks fall or spring semester.

    - 3 to 4 semester credit hours per 8-week term.

NOTE Students attending college with financial aid or veteran benefits assistance may be required to meet academic course load standards other than those noted above. Contact the CTC Office of Student Financial Assistance or the CTC Veteran Services Office before registering for courses.

Maximum/Minimum Course Load

Except as stipulated in the program of study, a student will not be permitted to enroll in more than six academic courses or more than 18 semester hours during any combination of terms within a 16-week semester. The maximum load for a 5 1/2 week summer semester is eight semester hours. The maximum credit a student can earn during the entire summer session is 14 semester hours. A student wishing to enroll in more than the maximum course load must have at least a 2.0 grade point average and receive approval from the Dean of Instruction or the Dean’s designee.

International students must maintain a minimum load of 12 semester hours during each regular semester (fall and spring semesters) in compliance with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations.

Amount of Credit Earned by a Student in a Given Time Period

Every college course is assumed to involve a significant amount of time outside the classroom (non-contact hour time) for out-of-class student learning. Based on Coordinating Board requirements, institutions should not allow students to carry more courses in any term (regular or shortened semester), which would allow them to earn more than one semester credit hour per week over the course of the term. For example, in a five and a half week summer term, students should not generally be allowed to enroll for more than six semester credit hours. Courses delivered in shortened semesters are expected to have the same number of contact hours and the same requirements for out-of-class learning as courses taught in a normal semester.

CTC has declared its maximum student load as no more than 18 semester hours within a 16-week semester or 8 semester hours during a 5 ½ week summer semester. Otherwise, a student must request an overload. Maximum course load policy was established based on the numerous four-semester hour courses required in certain programs of study, and students often enroll in a combination of three- and four-semester credit hour courses. The CTC Campus Dean or Dean of Instruction or their designee may consider an exception when (1) the student is enrolled in courses with different start/end dates within a given semester, (2) the student has demonstrated above average academic performance in previous attempted CTC coursework, (3) student is near graduation and the course(s) is required for graduation and will not be offered again before the student’s intended graduation date, or (4) due to a program change the course will no longer be offered in the revised program of study and student wishes to remain in his or her current program of study. Other exceptions based on individual student circumstances may be considered.