Excess Credit-Hour Frequently Asked Questions
Florida law is specific about what courses are included in your excess credit counter. The law is also specific about what can be excluded. However, if you think that you have courses that should be excluded from your excess credit counter, you must complete and submit a written appeal by the appropriate deadline, along with any supporting documentation to the Office of the University Registrar. The University Excess Credit-Hour Appeal Committee will review your documentation in light of the statutory requirements and respond with a final decision.
Appeals of the initial counter determination must be received during your first 12 months at FSU, no exceptions. Under Florida law, appeals to the initial counter total that are received after the first 12 months of enrollment cannot be considered.
Appeals of credit hours added to your counter after enrollment must be submitted within one year of the course being taken, or the credit is posted to your FSU transcript and added to your excess credit counter.
Under Florida law, the following credit hours count toward excess credit hours:
- failed courses
- hours dropped after the University's drop/add period
- courses from which a student withdraws
- repeated courses, with the exception of repeated courses for which the student has paid the repeat course surcharge as provided in Section 1009.285 Florida Statues
- all credit earned at another institution and accepted for transfer and applied toward the baccalaureate program
Essentially, all credit hours that you have taken in college count, including courses you fail; courses you drop after the end of drop/add; withdrawals; repeats; and transfer credit that you may have earned at another institution. However, the law stipulates that the following credits do not count toward the threshold:
- credit hours earned through internship.
- credits earned through an articulated accelerated mechanism such as AP, IB, AICE, or dual enrollment.
- withdrawals due to medical or personal hardship.
- credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs.
- credit hours taken by active-duty military personnel.
- credit hours required to achieve a double major/dual degree.
- credit hours taken for remediation or English as a second language.
- credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program.
The excess credit-hour counter can reflect a higher number for several reasons. The excess credit counter includes all courses a student has taken in previous terms, and it also includes all courses for which a student has enrolled in future terms. This is done so that a student immediately knows the impact of their enrollment on their excess hour counter at the time of registration rather than after the term begins. This feature can also help students plan accordingly if they have exceeded their threshold and are assessed the excess credit surcharge.
The excess credit-hour counter can reflect a lower number is a student has had coursework excluded from their excess credit counter.
For the purpose of calculating your excess credit counter, the credits earned toward either a double major or dual degree are all included in your counter. It is possible to separate your credit only in cases where documentation exists showing the credit in question counts exclusively to the second major or dual degree. The credit cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements for the primary program. If you have added a dual major or degree and think you may be in this situation, you are encouraged to discuss your situation with an academic advisor to determine if an excess hours appeal is recommended,.
Second bachelor's degrees are included in the excess credit-hour law. The excess credit counter resets after the student graduates with an undergraduate degree and re-enrolls as an undergraduate seeking a subsequent bachelor's degree. Because most second bachelor's degrees only require the student to complete an extra thirty to forty hours, these hours are not likely to exceed the excess hours threshold. The student would not be assessed the excess credit-hour surcharge until the threshold required for the degree is exceeded. In most cases this would occur at 132 hours. Thus, your counter must exceed 132 hours for the second degree before the surcharge is assessed.
Internships, whether optional or required, are excluded from your counter. The university automatically excludes these hours from your excess credit counter whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to identify internships on an academic record, especially when the internship is performed at another institution. If you think your excess credit-hour counter includes internship hours, you should submit an appeal for adjustment to your excess credit-hour counter. Cooperative educational experiences, directed individual studies (DIS), and other one-on-one instructional courses are not considered internships under law.
Certain courses that include preparation for a professional certification exam as part of classroom instruction may be excluded from your excess credit counter. Examples might include a computer science class that prepares you for a Microsoft certification exam, or a foundational education class that prepares you for a teacher certification exam. In these cases, the one specific course that prepares you for the exam may be excluded from your excess credit counter. This does not include coursework that is built into a degree program (e.g., athletic training, teacher education) or courses that prepare students for licensure exams (i.e., accounting).
All credit earned while on active duty is exempt from the excess credit-hour law. The university does not currently document active military service, so it is critical that you let us know of any credit that you have earned while on active duty. You must submit a written request, and you should include a copy of your DD214 with the appeal.