In the College of Arts and Sciences, a student must be registered for no fewer than 3.5 courses (14 credits) to qualify for full-time status. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are registered for 13.5 credits or fewer with approval from the Academic Advising Resource Center are considered part-time and pay tuition by the credit.

In the Conservatory and the Double Degree program, a student must be registered for a minimum of 16 credits to qualify for full-time status. Students in the Conservatory who are registered for 15.5 credits or fewer and have secured approval from an associate dean in the Conservatory are considered part-time and pay tuition by the credit.

The complete policy is located in the Catalog .

Students who need to reduce the number of courses and or credit hours during a semester must first get authorization from the Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC).


Degree Program Requirements

Bachelor of Arts

Min. credits/courses to reach full-time status: 14 credits/3 and one-half courses
Max. credits allowed without permission: 18
Fees charged for credits over: 20

Bachelor of Music

Min. credits to reach full-time status: 16 
Max. credits allowed without permission: 24
Fees charged for credits over: 24

Double Degree

Min. credits to reach full-time status: 16 
Max. credits allowed without permission: 26
Fees charged for credits over: 26

A Bachelor of Arts student may be approved for part-time status with permission from the registrar’s office, which allows a student to take fewer than 14 credits (three and one-half courses), at a part time per credit tuition rate not to exceed the full tuition charge.  Please consult the current catalog (Expenses) for more information.

Students taking fewer than 14 credits (three and one-half courses) without permission to study part time are charged full tuition.

A Bachelor of Music student may be approved for part-time status with permission of the Office of the Associate Deans in the conservatory, which allows a student to take fewer than 16 credits.  Tuition will be calculated at a part time per credit tuition rate not to exceed the full tuition charge.  Please consult the current catalog (Expenses) for more information.

Students taking fewer than 16 credits without permission to study part time are charged full tuition.

A double-degree student may be approved for part-time status with permission of the Office of Associate Deans in the conservatory, which allows a student to take fewer than 16 credits.  Tuition will be calculated at a part time per credit tuition rate not to exceed the full tuition charge.  Please consult the current catalog (Expenses) for more information.

Students taking fewer than 16 credits without permission to study part time are charged full tuition.

If you are requesting part-time status for medical reasons or on the basis of disability, schedule an appointment with Disability Resources at the Center for Student Success for required documentation. All part-time arrangements must be requested by 4:30pm on the first Friday of add/drop in the semester for which you are requesting part-time status.

Arts and sciences students are required to complete the Part Time Status Request through Oberview to request part-time approval. Part-time arrangements must be finalized by the end of add/drop in the semester for which you are requesting part-time status. All part-time arrangements must be requested by 4:30pm on the first Friday of add/drop in the semester for which you are requesting part-time status.

Prior to submitting the Part Time Status Request, students are encouraged to complete the following steps. You should begin this process the semester before you plan to study part time. If you plan to study part time during your final semester at Oberlin:

  1. Contact the Office of Financial Aid, if applicable.
  2. Ensure your academic record is up-to-date. Check with the Office of the Registrar to make sure all courses and transfer credit have been applied accurately.
  3. You should have submitted an application to graduate to the Office of the Registrar.
  4. Use Degree Works to check your progress toward the degree requirements.
  5. Confirm your progress toward degree requirements with your academic advisor or an assistant dean in the Academic Advising Resource Center. Determine how many courses/credits you need to graduate. Part-time approval is granted for a specific number of credits.
  6. If you have questions about your academic record, contact registrar@oberlin.edu. Only the Office of the Registrar can provide an official degree audit.
  7. When registering for courses prior to an approval for part-time status, you can select the courses you expect to take or register for 3.5 courses/14 credits and adjust your registration during add/drop.
  8. If necessary, meet with an assistant dean in the Academic Advising Resource Center during the first week of classes. All part-time arrangements must be requested by 4:30pm on the first Friday of add/drop in the semester for which you are requesting part-time status.
  9. Pass all your courses—very important!

Submit Part-Time Status Request

A Bachelor of Music or Double Degree Program student may be approved for part-time status with permission of the Office of the Associate Deans in the conservatory. Students are required to complete the following form and submit to the conservatory located in Bibbins 113.

Course Over-Underload Permission form 

Who is eligible for part-time status?

Students who need fewer credits than 3.5 courses (14 credits) in their last semester to complete their degree requirements are good candidates for part-time status. Or, students seeking part-time status for medical reasons or on the basis of disability should call the Office of Disability Resources at the Center for Student Success to inquire about the accommodation process.

How do I know if part-time status will be financially advantageous for me?

If you are receiving financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss the impact of part-time status on your financial aid package before you submit your part-time request. Each student’s disbursement of grants, fellowships, and loans is different. Also, read Enrollment Status under Policies in the Returning Students section of the Office of Financial Aid’s website for more information. You should speak with your parents before you make this decision since there may be other factors to consider before you change your enrollment status.

What should I do if I am studying on an F-1 Visa?

If you are studying on an F-1 Visa you must meet with the director of the International Student Resource Center before you submit your part-time request.

When will I find out if my part-time request is approved?

Students will receive the decision for their part-time request in January for the spring semester and July for the fall semester. The assistant deans in the Academic Advising Resource Center need to review your grades from the prior semester to ensure that you are eligible for part-time status. Part-time requests for medical accommodations will be reviewed and processed upon receipt.

How can I tell if my request has been processed?

You will receive an email from the Academic Advising Resource Center (aarc@oberlin.edu) with the decision regarding your part-time request. In Banner Self Service, adjustments to your tuition will appear in the “Accounts Receivable” tab and Student Accounts will reimburse your loan providers, your parents, or you, as applicable.

Can I audit a course while I am part time?

Yes, up to two audits are possible, with applicable fees, for students registered for one or more courses (four or more credits). Audits are arranged through the Office of the Registrar.

What is the difference between taking a course for credit and auditing a course?

Courses taken for credit appear on your transcript with a grade. If you are taking a course for a letter grade, the grade is calculated into your GPA. Courses taken for official audit appear on your transcript as the following: a successful audit results in the grade of AU (for “audit”) and an unsuccessful audit results in the grade of F.