Class Hours and Credit Hours

Most academic courses meet 150 minutes a week for sixteen weeks and earn three credit hours per semester.

Course Load Guidelines

A student’s “course load” refers to the total number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled in a given semester. A full-time course load is defined in different ways. For tuition purposes, full-time status is defined as 12 or more credit hours during the fall or spring semesters. However, most UNM degree programs expect a student to average 16 credit hours per semester in order to complete an associate degree in two years and a Bachelor’s degree in four years.

Students are considered full-time students if they are enrolled from six to nine (6-9) credit hours during the summer session, and are considered part time if enrolled from one to five (1-5) credit hours. Students may not enroll for more than 18 credit hours during a regular semester and 9 credit hours during the summer without approval from the Director of Student Affairs. A student enrolled for more than 18 credit hours in the fall and/or spring is charged tuition per credit hour for the excess hours. This additional tuition is nonrefundable.

Academic Year (fall or spring semester)

1) Full-time: 12 or more credit hours
2) Three-quarter time: 9-11 credit hours
3) Half-time: 6-8 credit hours
4) Part-time: 5 or fewer credit hours

Academic Year (summer session)
1) Full-time: 6 or more credit hours.
2) Half-time: 3-5 credit hours
3) Part-time: 2 or fewer credit hours.

Changes in Credit Enrollment

Academic program changes must be initiated by the student by obtaining appropriate forms from the Student Services Center, completing these forms, and returning them to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline dates indicated below.

1)Adding Credits: Courses may be added to the student’s program until the end of the second week of the fall or spring semester, or the first week of the summer session.

2)Dropping Credits: A student may drop courses until the end of the third week of the fall and spring semesters. Grades will not be assigned and the dropped courses will not appear on the student’s academic record.

A student may withdraw from a course after the sixth week and before the end of the twelfth week of classes without approval from the Dean of Instruction.

Students who drop or withdraw after the deadline will receive a “W” in their class(es). The “W” means the student withdrew from the class after the drop deadline period. This grade will not have an impact on the student’s grade point average. To drop a class after the twelfth week, approval must be obtained from the Dean of Instruction. Students are not permitted to withdraw from the University or drop a class during the week of final exams.

Students are responsible for the completion of every course for which they have registered. If they stop attending a course at any time without complying with the official change of enrollment procedures, they receive a grade of “F” in the course. (See the section on “Withdrawal” for procedures for dropping all courses.)

For summer session and short courses, deadlines for processing drops, adds, withdrawals, and grade options vary according to the length of the course. Refer to drop deadline dates at registrar.unm.edu for specific dates.

Credit/Non-Credit Option (CR/NC)

Students who do not satisfactorily complete a course under CR/NC grading receive a “NC.” CR-Credit is equivalent to at least a grade of “C.” A course may be changed from a traditional grade to CR/NC grade option up to the end of the fourth week of classes. A change from CR/NC to a traditional grading system may also be made prior to the end of the fourth week of classes. A maximum of 12 credit hours graded CR/NC is allowed toward an associate degree. Hours earned under which grading is specifically approved for CR/NC are not included in the 12 hour maximum allowed toward a student’s degree under the CR/NC grade option.

The following may not be taken under the CR/NC option: 1) courses that are part of the student’s major (as defined by the major department) with the exception of those courses especially approved for use of CR/NC grading; 2) in some departments and colleges, courses that are part of the student’s minor (see specific college and departmental requirements); 3) courses the student is repeating after first having taken the course under the regular grading systems. Students may not be penalized by a department if, when selecting or changing a major field, they have taken a course in their major on a CR/NC option basis.

Certain undesirable consequences may result from exercising the CR/NC option. For example, some college and university scholarship committees and honorary societies do not accept this grading system and convert grades of “Credit” to C and “No Credit” to F when computing grade point averages. It is recommended that an advisor be consulted when using this grading option. Please speak with an academic advisor for additional information.

Auditing a Course

A student may register for a course as an auditor. The fee for audited courses is the same as for credit courses, although the student does not receive academic credit or grades. No changes in audit status may be made after the fourth week of classes. An auditor who fails to attend class on a regular basis may be dropped at the instructor’s request.

Technical Courses

Students are also cautioned that certain courses are considered to be career/technical courses and are not acceptable for baccalaureate credits except by petition to, and acceptance from, a UNM degree-granting program such as the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences (OILS) program.  Your advisor can help identify which courses are considered career/technical.

Change in Grading Option

No change in grading option may be made after the end of the fourth week of the fall or spring semester, or the second week of the summer session for most courses.

After registration has been completed, any change in grading option requires the completion of a Program Change Request form available in the Registrar’s Office.

It is solely the responsibility of students to make certain that they are registered under the proper grading option for each of their courses.


Students are expected to attend all meetings of their classes unless excused by the instructor. A student with excessive absences may be dropped from a course with a grade “W,” by an instructor. Absences due to illness, field trips, athletic trips, and so forth do not relieve the student of the responsibility for missing assignments. It is the obligation of the student to take the initiative in arranging with the instructor to make up missed work. Students who are absent from final examinations or other closing exercises of their classes without an approved excuse are given the grade of “F.”


When students want to withdraw from all of their courses in a semester, they must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office. When a student withdraws officially from UNM-Valencia during the first three weeks of the fall or spring semester, or the first two weeks of the summer session, no grades are assigned. Course withdrawals after three weeks are subject to a grade of “W.” The grade of “W” is not computed in the student’s grade point average, however is considered as attempted hours. Course withdrawals may be processed through the end of the fifteenth week. However, course withdrawals submitted after the twelfth week must be approved by the Director of Student Affairs.

When students leave the University any time during a semester and do not carry out their withdrawal according to these regulations, they become liable for a grade of “F” in each of their classes, even though they may have been passing their courses up to the time of leaving.

Enrollment Certification

UNM-Valencia is frequently requested to certify a student’s enrollment status as to full time, half time, etc. Guidelines are used primarily to verify enrollment for the purpose of financial aid eligibility and loan deferments. Students withdrawing after the third week of classes are subject to grade of W. Courses taken in Audit status, Extension, or Correspondence status also are not included in total course load, for purposes of enrollment verification.

The National Clearinghouse is now The University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus’ authorized agent for providing enrollment and degree verifications. If an employer or background screening firm requests this information, please have them contact the National Student Clearinghouse at 703.742.4200 or visit their website www.studentclearinghouse.org.

Students requesting Enrollment Certification are referred to The National Clearinghouse. If a student wishes to have their entire academic history certified they must request a transcript. Unofficial transcripts are printed at the student’s request using a valid photo ID. UNM-Valencia does not certify expected graduation date. Contact the Registrar’s office to request enrollment certification.