Excess Hours

Excess Hours FAQs

Answers to how they may affect you in pursuit of your degree

Q. What credits are counted in calculating the excess credit hour surcharge?

A. Essentially, all college credit hours count including: courses you fail, courses you drop after the end of drop/add, withdrawals, repeats and transfer credit earned at another institution. However, credits that are not counted are those dropped prior to a drop/add period are deleted from your record and credits that fall in the other specific categories of credit as listed below.

Q. Are there any credits that do not count toward the threshold percentage?

A. The following credits do not count toward the threshold:

  • credits earned through an articulated accelerated mechanism such as AP, IB, AICE, or dual enrollment;
  • withdrawals due to medical or personal hardship;
  • courses that are part of the class instruction preparation for a professional certification exam may be excluded;
  • credit hours taken by active-duty military personnel;
  • credit hours required to achieve a dual major taken while pursuing a baccalaureate degree;
  • remedial and English as a second language credit hours;
  • credit hours earned through internships;
  • credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program;
  • credits dropped before a drop/add deadline and appropriately deleted from an academic record

Q. Do graduate courses count?

A. Graduate-level credit that attempted or applied to the completion of a baccalaureate degree is included in the calculation for excess hours. The Graduate-level credit that is NOT counted is:

Graduate-level credit that is attempted or completed and is not intended or actually counted toward a baccalaureate degree;
Graduate-level credit attempted as part of a 3+2 dual bachelor's/master's degree where the credit applies to both the undergraduate and graduate requirements

Q. What if I take a course as a transient student at another institution? Will that count toward excess
hours?

A. Yes. All courses taken as part of your degree program will count unless they are among the list of exemptions approved by law.

Q. What happens to my Excess Credit Hour Counter when I change majors?

A. When you elect to change your major there may be a change to the number of credits included in your total hours towards the degree program. All institutional credits attempted for any major will continue to be built in your total hours for the excess hours calculation.

Q. How does this work with an undecided/undeclared major?

A. All students are required to declare a major.

  • Transfer Students: All transfer students are required declare a major upon admission. Any non-degree applicable transfer credits may be excluded from your excess credit hour counter.
  • First Time In College Student (FTIC): All FTIC students are required to declare within 36 hours. All credits earned while enrolled at USF will count toward the excess credit hour limit.

Q. Are second bachelor's degrees included?

A. Yes, if the credits earned during the first baccalaureate degree apply to the second baccalaureate degree they will be counted in the excess credit hour calculation for the second baccalaureate degree. Any credits attempted that may not be utilized for the second baccalaureate degree are excluded. You would not be assessed the excess credit hour surcharge until you have exceeded 110% of the hours required for the second baccalaureate degree. In most cases this would be 132 hours. Please note that most second bachelor's degrees only require that you complete an extra 30-40 hours.

Q. Are internship credit hours included in excess hour calculations?

A. Internships, whether optional or required, are excluded from your counter. The University will exclude these hours automatically from your excess credit counter whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to identify internships on the academic record of a student, especially when taken at another institution. If you feel that your excess credit hour counter includes internship hours, please contact your academic advisor.

Q. What about credit for Certification?

A. Courses that are part of the class instruction preparation for a professional certification exam my be excluded from your excess credit total. Examples of these might be a computer science class that prepares you for a Microsoft certification exam, or a foundational education class that prepares you for a teacher certification exam. In these cases, the one specific course that prepares you for the exam may be excluded from your total, but not all courses in the degree program.

Q. What about credit I earned while on active duty military?

A. All credit attempted while on active duty is exempt from the Excess Credit Hour Law. Documenting active duty military service is something that we do not currently track, so it is critical that you let us know of any credit that you have taken while on active duty. You will need to submit a written request as part of the appeal along with your military transcript.

Please see your academic advisor for any additional questions.