Course Loads

Main Content

Financial Aid Awards

 For financial aid awarding purposes, the following defines the number of semester hours for full and half-time:

Status 16-Week Semester 8-Week Session
Full-time..... 12 6
Half-time..... 6 3

Graduate students enrolled in fewer than 6 hours for fall and spring semesters or 3 hours for summer session are not eligible to obtain student loans.

Enrollment Certification

The following semester hours of credit are to be used to certify full-time and half-time attendance of graduate students.

Status 16-Week Semester 8-Week Session
Full-time..... 9 or more hours* 3 or more hours
Half-time..... 6 Less than 3 hours
Less than half-time..... Less than 6 hours -

*Students who hold at least quarter-time (25% FTE) graduate assistantships are considered full-time if they have a minimum of 8 semester hours.

Minimum and Maximum Course Loads

A graduate student must enroll in graduate-level course(s) (typically 400- and 500-level courses; certain 400-level courses are not available for graduate credit). Please consult the Graduate Catalog for available 400-level graduate courses. Audit work will not qualify to meet the minimum load. An exception to the 16 credit hour maximum load is possible only with written permission of the Graduate Dean.

Graduate students with a Graduate Assistantship must enroll in a minimum of 8 graduate credit hours during the fall / spring semesters and 3 graduate credit hours during the summer term. Students with a Graduate Fellowship or SIU Scholarship must enroll in a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours.

All University employees who wish to use the employee tuition and fee waiver (faculty and staff) and are classified as graduate students are only permitted to register for 6 hours. To request permission to take over 6 hours, a memo from their hiring department approving the extra hours must be submitted to the Graduate School Records Office.

If graduate students’ enrollments fail to meet the minimum hours required by their type of financial support, the financial support will be terminated.