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Taking More than 20 Credits

Taking More than 20 Units at CalArts

In order to take more than 20 units:

  • Recognize the time commitment that goes into taking more than 20 units per semester: A full-time undergraduate student program is normally 14 to 16 units and not less than 12 units. At CalArts, a full-time graduate student program Is not less than 9 or 12 units depending on the program of study.  A 14 to 16 unit course load requires at least 42 to 48 hours of class related work per week, while a 20 unit course load would require at least 60 hours of course related work per week. Considering this commitment of time, energy and resources, we limit student course loads to no more than 20 units per semester. 
  • Grades need to show that you are capable of taking on this increased course load: Only students who have not received an NX or NC grade in the two semesters preceding are eligible to request a unit overload. BFA1 students may not enroll in more than 20 units. 
  • Petition to take more than 20 units: Complete a “Statement of Purpose for More that 20 Units” petition (available in the Office of the Provost), explaining the rationale for coursework in excess of 20 units. This petition, which accompanies the registration Course Request Card, must be approved and signed in the following order by: the students’ mentor; the dean of the student’s school; the provost or her designee; and the registrar.

If after you’ve signed up for more the 20 units, you find that you are having trouble keeping up in all of your classes, we encourage you to drop one or more of your courses by the Add/Drop deadline. This deadline is listed in the Academic Calendar. Add/Drop forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

If the Add/Drop deadline has passed, and you are having difficulty in your classes, please make an appointment with the Institute Academic Advisor, and/or your mentor. 

Last edited by pfraser on Nov 21, 2011
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