Continuous enrollment

Students who withdraw from all courses after the first week of the semester are considered to have been enrolled for the semester. Students who do not attend VCU for three or more successive semesters excluding summer sessions must submit an application for readmission to Undergraduate Admissions. See the undergraduate readmission/continuous enrollment chart for details on readmission and continuous enrollment. This application must be completed and turned in before the application submission date for the semester in which the student plans to return. For health science programs, breaks in enrollment must be approved by the department.

Student load

Student load is the total number of credits for which a student is enrolled in any one semester. The semester credit is the quantitative unit by which courses are measured and is defined by the number of credit hours as found under general course information.

Full-time and part-time students

A student enrolled in 12 credits or more during any fall or spring semester is classified as full time. A student enrolled in 11 credits or less during any semester is classified as part time. Both full-time and part-time students may seek degrees at VCU. However, some curricula may require full-time status. For more information, see the enrollment categories section of this bulletin.

Academic overload

A degree-seeking undergraduate student may take no more than 19 credits per semester without special permission. This maximum load excludes holiday intersession courses. More than 19 credits per semester constitute an academic overload. Health science curricula requiring more than 19 credits per semester are exempt from this rule. See additional information on a course overload in the Tuition and fees charges section of this chapter.

The student’s adviser and academic dean may permit a student to attempt more than 19 credits in any one semester. An “Overload Approval Form” may be obtained from the Student Services Center in Harris Hall or online at Records and Registration Forms.

Undergraduate nondegree-seeking students may take no more than 11 credits per semester. Overloads for nondegree-seeking students are not permitted. A nondegree-seeking student who wishes to take more than 11 credits must first be accepted as a degree-seeking student.

For information about credits earned concurrently at another institution, see concurrent registration below.

Credits allowable during summer sessions

Each summer course is designed to provide one semester’s work. With careful scheduling, it is possible for students to earn as many as 15 credits during the summer if course work extends over the full summer calendar. Students may not take more than 15 credits without special permission from the Summer Studies Office, which is located at Hibbs Hall, 900 Park Avenue, Room 201; or phone (804) 827-4586.

Summer classes are intensive and demanding. Students experiencing academic difficulty should consider this advisory carefully before registering for summer classes.

Prerequisite enforcement

Qualified course prerequisites take the form of a course subject (HIST) and number (101). Unless otherwise specified, the minimum grade required to satisfy a stated course prerequisite is a D. These prerequisites are enforced at the time of registration and assume successful completion of any prerequisite courses for which a student is currently enrolled. A registration error message is returned if one or more qualifying course prerequisites are not met. Specific prerequisites for an individual course can be viewed via eServices by selecting the View Catalog Entry link. Students who are preregistered in a course with one or more prerequisites and subsequently fail to satisfy the prerequisite(s) will be removed from the course prior to the end of add/drop.

Audit registration

Class size permitting, a student may register for a course on an audit basis. A student may register for audit only during add/drop and late registration periods. Auditing a course means a student enrolls in a course but does not receive academic credit upon completion of the course. A student who registers on an audit basis is subject to attendance regulations of that class and may be administratively withdrawn by an instructor for a violation of class requirements for audit students, before or after the normal 10-week withdrawal deadline. A student who registers for audit may be subject to other course requirements at the discretion of the instructor. Audit students are charged the regular rate of tuition and fees. An audit course is counted as part of the student’s semester load for the purposes of full- or part-time enrollment status but not for the purpose of financial aid.

Concurrent registration

to ensure credits earned concurrently at another institution are accepted for transfer at VCU, students should submit an online “Request to Take Courses at Another Institution” for evaluation by the VCU Transfer Center prior to taking the courses. Credits taken at another institution will not be counted toward enrollment level for financial aid purposes at VCU unless these courses are part of an approved articulation agreement that allows or requires courses to be taken at another institution.

Change in registration

Once a student has registered for classes, changes in registration must be made according to the procedures listed below. Whenever a student makes any change in registration, the student should keep a copy of the new schedule as verification of the change. Changes in registration may affect current and future financial aid. Students are advised to consult with a financial aid staff member before making any changes to their enrollment status. See the Financial aid section of this bulletin for detailed information on financial aid.

Cancellation of registration

Cancellation of registration must be completed before the end of the add/drop period. To cancel registration, a student must drop all classes using one of the following methods: 1) in writing to the Office of Records and Registration, 2) in person at the Student Services Center or 3) via eServices. Refunds are issued in accordance with procedures described under the refunds section in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin. For readmission guidelines, consult the Admission to the university section of this bulletin.

During the add/drop period

Exact dates for add/drop periods before and during the first week of classes are listed in the university academic calendar. Changes in registration during the add/drop periods can be made via eServices. During the add/drop period, courses can be dropped and will not show on a student’s permanent record. Changes from audit to credit or credit to audit must be made before the end of the add/drop and late registration periods and can be made at the Student Services Center in Harris Hall.

After the add/drop period

After the add/drop period, students may not attend classes in which they are not registered. Students cannot add a course after the add/drop period. The university academic calendar lists the date when add/drop ends.

Drops are not permitted after the add/drop period has ended. However, students may withdraw from classes in accordance with prescribed procedures. To officially withdraw from a class, a student must obtain and file the appropriate form with the Office of Records and Registration or utilize eServices. A student with an academic hold that prevents registration activity on eServices may go in person to the Student Services Center in Records and Registration to withdraw from courses.

If a student stops attending a class and fails to withdraw, a standard grade will still be assigned for that course. Withdrawals become a part of the student’s academic record with a mark of W. In classes that do not conform to the normal semester calendar, the final withdrawal date is when half of the course is completed.

For further information see withdrawal from the university below. Students who withdraw from a course may be entitled to a refund. See the university refund policy in the Tuition, fees and expenses section of this bulletin.