University of Iowa

Registration Policies

Administrative Home

Some rules on registration vary across the University's different colleges. Policies are in place to cover situations when students in one college take courses that are offered by another college.


For matters that involve transactions in the context of the student's participation in a particular course (adding, dropping, grading and so on) the rules of the college providing the administrative home for the course will govern.  To determine where the administrative home/department is, browse for any course in MyUI. Click on the course number for more information. Administrative home and department contact information will display at the top of the page. Additional administrative information can be found at the bottom of the course listing.


For matters that involve how a course applies (or not) to a student's academic standing and degree requirements, the rules of the college in which the student is admitted will govern.


Cross-listed/Cross-referenced Courses

A course is considered cross-referenced if it is offered under more than one academic department. A cross-referenced course will have different course numbers, however one academic department will serve as the administrative home.  All of the information contained in a cross-referenced course will be same (semester hours, meeting times and days, instructors, descriptions, etc).


Course Prerequisites

Departments may establish prerequisite courses or conditions that must be met before enrollment in a course. A prerequisite may specify course work, a specific grade in a course, or scores on a placement exam. Departments are responsible for having all prerequisites accurately listed on MyUI. Departments may, at their discretion, administratively drop from the course students who enroll in a course for which they do not have required prerequisites that were correctly identified on MyUI. These drops must take place during the first eight calendar days of the semester, the first two calendar days of the three-week summer session, or first four days of the six- or eight-week summer session. These drop actions are made without the assignment of a W (see Registration below).


Maximum Schedule

Spring and Fall Semesters

The recommended schedule for students who wish to complete a degree in eight semesters (4 years) is 14 to 16 semester hours each semester. However, some students may want or need to take coursework in excess of the recommended hours. The maximum permitted registration is 18 semester hours during a spring or fall semester. 


For purposes other than financial aid, full-time status is defined as 12 semester hours or more during a semester and during the summer session. (For more information on Financial Aid enrollment rules, consult the Office of Student Financial Aid).


Students in good academic standing may request permission to register for more hours than the maximum allowed. Requests are made through your advisor who consults with the Academic Standards Committee.


Summer Sessions

Students may register for no more than 3 semester hours during the May three-week session.  Students who enroll only during the six or eight-week June-July sessions may take no more than 9 semester hours during those sessions.


The maximum total permitted registration during any year's summer sessions is 9 semester hours, or 12 semester hours if registration includes the three-week May session.


Winter Session

The maximum permitted registration is 3 semester hours.


Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate-Level Courses

Undergraduates may enroll in graduate-level courses (numbered 5000 and above) only with the permission of the instructor and after completion of any prerequisites. There are no restrictions on the number of graduate-level credit hours taken by undergraduates.


Graduate courses offered and taken by an undergraduate are counted as undergraduate credit for the degree and are applied to the hours of residence requirement.


Students should be aware that graduate credit earned as an undergraduate cannot be used as credit toward a graduate degree. Academic policies for undergraduate students apply to graduate courses taken by undergraduates.