Student Classification

Student Classifications

Full-Time Student

To obtain full-time status, undergraduate students must take a minimum of 12 credits in fall and spring (6 in the summer) -- anything less is considered part-time. Financial aid and many insurance programs require full-time student status, so a student should be careful when dropping classes. 

The maximum number of credits for undergraduates in the fall and spring is 18 credits; the maximum number in the summer is 12 credits (both sessions combined). Students in the honors program may take up to 21 credits. Students can petition to enroll in more than this maximum number. In CALS, the student’s advisor must make the request to the CALS Student Services Office. It is unlikely such requests will be approved for students on academic probation or warning, or for students whose past performance has been marginal.

Student classification

A student’s classification is determined by the number of credits completed with a grade of D- or better: students with 0-29 credits are freshmen, students with 30-59 credits are sophomores, students with 60-89 credits are juniors, and students with 90+ credits are seniors.


A student’s residency for the purpose of tuition and fees is determined by the Registrar’s Office. Students with questions about residency should be referred to the Registrar’s Office in the Enrollment Services Building.

In determining residency, the issue is essentially one of why the person is in the state of Iowa. If the person is in the state primarily for educational purposes, that person will be considered a nonresident. For example, it may be possible that an individual could qualify as a resident of Iowa for such purposes as voting, or holding an Iowa driver's license, and not meet the residency requirements as established by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for admission, tuition, and fee purposes.