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Graduate Semester Load and Overload

Policy Information

Issuing Office

Registrar's Office

Affected Parties


Policy Language

To ensure students are successful in their academic endeavors, the University has placed a limit on the maximum number of semester hours students are able to take.  Master’s-level graduate students are considered to be full-time when enrolled in nine or more hours per semester.  All doctoral students are considered full-time with a semester load of six or more semester hours.

Graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral students have a maximum semester limit of 15 hours. Students must seek permission to take more than the maximum hours in a semester and will be required to pay additional tuition for each credit hour they take over the maximum semester limit. Graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral students may review potential overload charges by contacting Student Financial Services to confirm the exact charges.

Graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral students must have a Liberty University cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above to be eligible for overload up to 18 hours and above a 3.5 to be eligible for overload up to 21 hours. Certain degree programs may require a higher Liberty University cumulative GPA for approval.

Due to financial aid regulations, if graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral students use their semester overload to take course outside their degree completion plan requirements, they should be advised that this could cause issues with their financial aid.  Students can check to see whether the course is required for their degree by reviewing the Degree Completion Plan Audit or by contacting their Graduate Academic Evaluator to confirm.

Graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral students who want to request overload must secure permission from the Registrar’s Office and may seek this approval by submitting a request at

Policy Rationale

To ensure that students understand the policies set forth by the University regarding the approved semester load and the process to obtain approval to take courses in overload.

Definition of Glossary Terms

None specified

Procedural Information


None specified


None specified


In certain circumstances, exceptions above 24 hours may be approved.

Date of Last Review