Quantity of Work Rule

The policies described in this section apply to undergraduates and graduate students. The quantity of work rule for law students is given in the Law School Catalog.

Full-Time and Half-Time Enrollment

A student’s enrollment status is determined by the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled in residence in a semester. University Extension semester-based coursework is included in the total along with in-residence coursework. The following table shows the minimum number of hours required.

Enrollment Status

Fall or Spring 

  Undergraduates Graduate students Law students
Full-time12 hours9 hours9 hours
Half-time6 hours5 hours5 hours

Summer

  Undergraduates Graduate students Law students
Full-time12 hours3 hours6 hours
Half-time6 hours2 hours3 hours

A student is also considered to be enrolled full-time if he or she is enrolled in a cooperative engineering course, is taking a reduced course load because of a documented disability, or is enrolled in a specific course that carries no hours of credit. An undergraduate enrolled in at least six hours of coursework in his or her semester of graduation may also be considered full-time; the student’s dean must submit a request to the registrar’s office that the student’s enrollment status be changed from half-time to full-time.

Maximum Hours in the Fall and Spring Semesters

Undergraduates.  An undergraduate student may not register for more than 17 semester hours in any long-session semester without the approval of his or her dean, unless the degree plan published in the undergraduate catalog for the student’s major specifies otherwise.

Graduate students. The maximum course load for a graduate student is 15 semester hours. A heavier course load must have the recommendation of the graduate adviser and the approval of the graduate dean. It is permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

Maximum Hours in the Summer Session

Undergraduates. Except as permitted by his or her academic dean, no undergraduate student may register for more than 14 semester hours in a 12 week summer session or for more than eight semester hours in either six-week term. A student whose maximum period of summer registration is nine weeks may not register for more than ten semester hours except as permitted by his or her academic dean.

Graduate students. The maximum course load for a graduate student is 12 semester hours in a 12 week summer session. A heavier course load must have the recommendation of the graduate adviser and the approval of the graduate dean. It is permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

Minimum Hours in the Fall and Spring Semesters

Undergraduates. An undergraduate student may not carry fewer than 12 semester hours of coursework without the approval of his or her academic dean. Failure to obtain approval for a reduced course load may jeopardize the student’s continuance in school. A student who is a minor must present a written statement from a parent or guardian accepting the conditions under which permission to carry a reduced course load is granted.

An international undergraduate student must have written permission from the International Office as well as from his or her dean to carry fewer than 12 hours.

Graduate students. Course load requirements for graduate student academic employees are given on that page in this section. Graduate students who are not also academic employees are not subject to minimum course load requirements.

An international graduate student must have written permission from the International Office as well as from his or her dean to carry fewer than nine hours.

Minimum Hours in the Summer Session

There is no minimum course load in the summer session.

Undergraduate Student Employees

An undergraduate student’s combined University employment and semester-hour course load may not exceed 40 hours a week in any semester or summer term. Any academic unit may require a lower work-study load of students in the unit who are employed by the University. A student who wishes to exceed the maximum work-study load set by his or her college must have the approval of the dean of the college. More information is available at the student employment website.

Graduate Student Academic Employees

A “graduate student academic employee” is a graduate student who is also employed by the University under one of the following titles: assistant instructor, teaching assistant, assistant (graduate), academic assistant, graduate research assistant, and tutor (graduate). To hold one of these positions, a student must have no unfulfilled conditions imposed by the Graduate School, must be in good academic standing, and must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Graduate student academic employees must be registered for at least nine semester hours in a long-session semester or at least three semester hours in a summer session, in any combination of summer terms.

Student employment at UT Austin in any student job title, academic as well as nonacademic positions, may not total more than 20 hours a week during the student’s first two fall or spring semesters of enrollment or more than 30 hours a week during subsequent fall or spring semesters. International student employment may not total more than 20 hours a week during any fall or spring semester without the approval of the International Office and the graduate dean.

Graduate student academic employees may not accept payment from a student for tutoring services, except on the recommendation of the department chair and with the approval of the graduate dean. If approved, the student may tutor only in a course with which he or she has no connection.