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Enrollment guidelines

  Minimum credit hours required for each fall/spring semester If you are not registered for that amount, you must
Undergraduate student 12 credit hours Register for more credits*
OR
Submit a Reduced Course Load form (review the form for eligibility requirements)
Graduate student without an assistantship and you have not finished your formal coursework nor taken your comprehensive exam 9 credit hours Register for more credits*
OR
Submit a Reduced Course Load form (review the form for eligibility requirements)
Graduate student with an assistantship and you have not finished your formal coursework nor taken your comprehensive exam 6 credit hours (department may require more — talk to your academic adviser about your requirements) Register for more credits*
OR
Submit a Reduced Course Load form (review the form for eligibility requirements)
Graduate student who has completed all formal coursework (with or without an assistantship) 1 or more research credit hours (MU may require more — talk to your academic adviser about your requirements) Register for more credits*
AND
Submit a Reduced Course Load form confirming you are finished with all coursework
Doctoral student who has passed the comprehensive exam (with or without an assistantship) 2 research credit hours in the fall and spring, and 1 research credit hour in the summer Register for more credits*

*Please check the MU academic calendar for the last day you can add a class.

Online courses

Only three online credits may be counted toward your full-time enrollment requirements. You are required to have a minimum number of credit hours taken in the classroom, as shown below. Courses listed in myZou as 30–80% online are considered to be online courses. These class credits will be counted toward the maximum three credits of online coursework allowed for your full-time enrollment requirements.

  Total credits needed Maximum online credits Minimum classroom credits
Undergraduate 12 3 9
Graduate (without assistantship) 9 3 6
Graduate (with assistantship) 6 3 3

Exceptions to a full course of study

Individual departments or Graduate Studies may require you to take more credits. Enrollment as an auditor or hearer or in "exam credit" does not count toward full-time enrollment. Incomplete courses continued in the following semester do not count toward full-time enrollment.

Reduced course load

U.S. immigration regulations allow you to enroll in a reduced course load in the following situations:

  • Initial academic difficulties in your first or second semester (one semester only)
  • Temporary illness or medical condition (one semester at a time, no longer than one year)
  • Final semester, if fewer courses are required to complete your degree
  • After completion of required coursework for graduate students

To request a reduced course load, submit a Reduced Course Load form to the International Center before dropping below the minimum credit requirements.

Summer session enrollment

If summer is your first term at MU, you must be enrolled full time during that summer session.

  • Undergraduate students: Enroll in four credit hours
  • Graduate students: Enroll in six credit hours

If summer is your last term at MU, you must be enrolled in at least one credit hour that meets the following criteria:

  • Credit must be offered on MU's campus as face-to-face credit hours
  • You cannot be enrolled in only online credits
  • Course enrollment must appear on the summer term transcript
  • If you are concurrently enrolled in another institution, at least one credit hour must be at MU

Continuing students are not required to enroll for summer courses unless it is your final semester at MU (you will complete your degree and graduate in August). Doctoral students who have passed comprehensive exams are required to take at least one credit during the summer. Refer to Graduate Studies for more information.

Concurrent enrollment

You may take courses at another institution while attending MU. At least 50 percent of your courses must be taken at MU. The courses you take at another institution will count toward your full-time enrollment requirement at MU as long as you submit a Reduced Course Load form with confirmation of enrollment at the other institution.

Process for dropping or withdrawing from a course

If you are dropping or withdrawing from a course during the semester, you must first receive permission from the International Center if the drop/withdrawal causes you to fall below a full course load. You must follow these additional steps:

  1. Find out if you are eligible for a reduced course load by reviewing the enrollment guidelines above. If you need a Reduced Course Load form to drop below full-time enrollment, complete the form with your academic adviser. (If you withdraw from a course after the last day to drop, you will also need to complete a course withdrawal form with your academic department.)
  2. Bring the Reduced Course Load form* to the International Center during walk-in advising.
  3. If you are eligible to drop or withdraw from the course, the international student adviser will give you a dropping a course form. You will need to take this form to the Office of the University Registrar, where your course will be officially dropped.

*Graduate students who have assistantships or have passed their comprehensive exams may not be required to have the Reduced Course Load form, but will still need to come to walk-in advising to get the dropping a course form if they will be dropping below nine credit hours for the semester.