Excess Credit Hours Student Policy

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Arizona legislation was passed in the fall of 2006 to address the issue of providing state funding for undergraduate students exceeding certain credit hour thresholds. This legislation (detailed in Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1661) mandates the annual budget request submitted by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) shall not include funding for any undergraduate student who has earned credit hours in excess of the undergraduate credit hour threshold. The state authorizes each university to charge additional tuition and/or fees from these students in lieu of the state funding. This policy details the process that will be used to identify, notify and charge this population of students.

Students exceeding the credit hour threshold will be identified each semester by the Planning and Institutional Research Office. These students will be notified of their status by the Registrar's Office. The student record will be marked with an identifier in LOUIE so that appropriate tuition/fees can be charged by Student and Departmental Account Services.

Students approaching the credit hour threshold (those who have already earned 130 credit hours and have enrolled in a subsequent semester) will be contacted by the Registrar's Office to inform them of this policy. Students will be encouraged to work with their advisor(s) to review remaining coursework required for graduation.

The undergraduate credit hour threshold will not apply to credits:

  • Earned in the pursuit of up to two baccalaureate degrees.
  • Earned in the pursuit of up to two state regulated licensures and certificates.
  • Earned in the pursuit of teaching certification.
  • Transferred from a private institution of higher education.
  • Transferred from an institution of higher education in another state.
  • Earned at another institution of higher education if those credits are not accepted as transfer credits at NAU. (At NAU, transfer credits that are not accepted are not included in the cumulative earned hours.).
  • Earned by students who enroll at NAU more than twenty-four months after the end of that student's previous enrollment at a public institution of higher education in Arizona.

Students who feel they have been incorrectly identified as exceeding the credit hour threshold, or students who believe they qualify for one of the exemptions listed above, may file a Petition for Excess Credit Hours Review. This form is available on the Registrar's Office website. Details about how to complete and where to submit the petition are provided on the form.


Credit Hour Threshold (CHT): This is the maximum number of cumulative earned hours an undergraduate student may earn to be included in university budget requests. Undergraduate students exceeding the CHT will be responsible for paying additional tuition and/or fees, beginning Fall 2007. In 2006-2007, the undergraduate CHT is 155 hours. In 2007-2008, the undergraduate CHT is 150 hours. Beginning in Fall 2008, the undergraduate CHT is 145 hours.

State Regulated Licensures and Certificates: Credits earned in the pursuit of a program that results in a state regulated licensure or certificate do not apply toward the CHT. ABOR-facilitated discussions of the three universities led to agreement on the programs that result in state-regulated licensures and certificates. These include: Computer Science and Engineering (excluding Construction Management), Public Accounting, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, and Social Work.

Teacher Certification: Credits earned in the pursuit of a program that results in teacher certification do not apply toward the CHT. These programs include certifications for the Arizona Department of Education as well as programs resulting in a BSED degree (including but not limited to Elementary Education, Special Education, Secondary Education, Art Education, Heath Education, Music Education, Physical Education, Theatre Education, etc.).