Excess Hours

Excess Hour Surcharge

The Florida Legislature implemented Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes to encourage undergraduate degree-seeking students to complete their baccalaureate degree as quickly and efficiently as possible. It established what is commonly referred to as an "Excess Hour Surcharge."  The bill requires universities to add a surcharge to each credit hour taken in excess of the total hours calculated, based on a percentage defined in law: 

Undergraduate degree-seeking students entering as FTIC SUS (First time in college State University System of Florida) or FTIC FCS (First time in college Florida College System) Fees to be Charged
Prior to Fall 2009 NONE
Fall 2009 - Summer 2011 50% for credits above 120% of total program hours
Fall 2011 - Summer 2012 100% for credits above 115% of total program hours
Fall 2012 - Spring 2019 100% for credits above 110% of total program hours
Summer 2019 - Current 100% for credits above 120% of total program hours

The surcharge is assessed only on the tuition portion of the semester hour cost, not on the fees. The number of total program hours required for the baccalaureate degree will be identified by the student's declared major. This is typically 120 semester hours, although, some programs have been approved to require more than 120 semester hours. The University shall refund the excess hour surcharge assessed for up to 12 credit hours to any first-time-in-college student who completes a baccalaureate degree program within four years.

Note:  No institution may waive the excess hours surcharge as the language of the statute is mandatory.


  • Track your Excess Hours using the Excess Hours Counter
  • Review the courses that may be exempted under the law. Most registered credits do count towards the excess hour threshold.
  • Meet regularly with your academic advisor, and consult your academic advisor before registering for any electives.


  • Wait to declare a major.
  • Add a minor or certificate without talking to your academic advisor, as minors and certificates can lead to excess hours.
  • Change majors without talking to your academic advisor. Remember that all credits earned while a student at USF will count towards excess hours.
  • Withdraw from courses after drop/add without consulting your academic advisor, as the credits may count towards excess hours.


Graduate on time and avoid paying more for your degree than you have to by tracking your credit hours, following your four-year degree plan and meeting regularly with your advisor.

Still have questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for quick answers and helpful information.