Undergraduate students

Course Loads and Overloads, Undergraduate

Policy Number: 100316

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Enrollment



During Fall, Spring, and Summer terms, you are considered a full-time student if you carry a minimum of 12 units, with 19 units as the maximum for Fall and Spring and 16 units maximum for Summer.

You may carry an overload (more than the maximum units), during Fall and Spring terms, with the approval of your advisor, but you may not carry more than 24 units per term:

  • students may take a maximum of 15–16 units during all Summer Sessions combined; and
  • students may take a maximum of 4 units during the Winter Session. 

Northern Arizona University will not grant overloads for Summer or Winter Sessions. Courses offered during the Winter and/or Summer sessions are accelerated to fit within the limited time periods. The unit maximums have been established to account for these conditions and are consistent with the Fall and Spring term limits.

Term Length Affects Course Loads

In general, though dates vary each year, terms follow a simple pattern and have guidelines for normal course loads.


Typical Length

Approximate Dates

Course Load


16 weeks

Late August to Early-Mid-December

12-15 units
(15 units for undergraduates who plan to graduate within 4 years).


4 weeks

Mid-December to Early-Mid January

4 units


16 weeks

Mid-January to Early-Mid May

12-15 units
(15 units for undergraduates who plan to graduate within 4 years).

Summer 3-week

3 weeks

Mid-May to Early June

3 units

Maximum of 15–16 units during all Summer Sessions combined

Summer 12-week

12 weeks

Mid-May to Early August

16 units

Summer 10-week

10 weeks

Early June to Early August

12 units

First Summer 5-week

5 weeks

Early June to Early July

6 units

Second Summer 5-week

5 weeks

2nd week of July to Early August

6 units

Mini-courses or Dynamically Dated (DD) courses).




General Procedure

To enroll for an overload, you must submit the approved overload approval form when you enroll in courses. This form is available on the Registrar's Website. No overloads are granted for Summer or Winter Sessions. Approval is contingent on your past academic performance and an evaluation of your ability to satisfactorily complete the courses for which you wish to enroll.

Special Circumstances

Students who want to complete a Bachelor degree program (a minimum of 120 units) within 8 terms, must take at least 15 units each Fall and Spring term or take courses during Summer and/or Winter terms.

You may be required to have a minimum grade point average before an overload is approved. The recommended undergraduate grade point average for carrying an overload is as follows:

Financial Implications: Be aware that if you are receiving financial aid or Veterans assistance, enrolling in overload units might affect your eligibility for continued funding or might impact funding amounts. Please contact Financial Aid.

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