Overload and Underloads

Overloads (more than 18 hours or coursework in fall/spring and more than 9 hours in summer) and underloads (fewer than 12 hours in fall/spring) require college approval per the Student Code. All requests require careful review by Grainger Engineering advising staff. Petitions for overload or underload are made by using an online web form, as detailed below.

The Request Portal opens on the first day of registration for that term. Requests must be submitted to the College by the following deadlines

  • Noon of the 10th day of the Fall Semester
  • Noon of the 10th day of the Spring Semester
  • May 15 for Summer Term

All students are expected to plan each semester and anticipate their possible wish/need for overload or underload during preregistration for the following semester (the semester under review for Overload/Underload).

Factors taken into consideration for review of overload requests include the number of credit hours requested, prior loads of classes, and previous progress. Petitions for overloads require careful review of course combinations, academic history, course availability, course prerequisites, and student history of overload requests.

Petitions for overloads will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and a response will be sent via email, typically after Fall grades are available for Spring overload requests and after Spring grades are available for Fall overload requests.

Notes (eligibility and process):

  1. Overloads are typically granted for students who have demonstrated high scholastic performance (typically Illinois GPA >=3.5) with sustained heavy loads of classes (typically 4 engineering/technical classes, 16 credit hours minimum per semester).
  2. Grades from completion of at least one semester as an engineering student on campus are required (no overload will be granted first semester).
  3. While petitions will be reviewed on a case by case basis, students with GPAs below 3.0 will be most likely denied.
  4. Overload petitions for more than 22 hours will be automatically denied.
  5. Submit Overload Requests at https://go.grainger.illinois.edu/overloadrequest by the deadline.

Note the Following Important Details:

  1. If an overload request is approved, the additional hours will be available to add one business day before the semester starts. Students should plan their schedule accordingly, in case the additional course requested is no longer available at that time.
  2. Overload approvals do not obligate faculty or departments to provide overrides into closed sections/courses.
  3. Winter term: No overload requests will be allowed. A maximum of one (1) online course may be taken over Winter term. Note that only online courses are offered over Winter term. 
  4. If a student is approved for an overload but no longer needs it, they must contact engineering@illinois.edu to explain why the overload is no longer needed.

Students must submit an Underload Request and provide a reason for the request.  If documentations exists, provide this with the Underload Request. Students who are graduating seniors MUST Underload Request for Graduating Seniors instead.

All students will  need approval for Underloads.

  • International Graduating seniors need RCL via ISSS (access iStart) AND college approval (https://go.grainger.illinois.edu/Underload-Graduating)  by the 5th day of classes as usual. New Incoming fall 2020 first-year students (or students with inactive F-1 status), may take all online classes from outside the US and do an Underload.
  • All students who have financial aid MUST check with the Financial Aid office.
  • All students should check with their medical insurance on how part-time status (below 12 hours) could affect their eligibility.
  • Graduating seniors should run a Degree Audit and check with the Records Team about the requirements to finish their degree.

Students should make reasonable progress towards degree (essential classes that are prerequisites for example). Students who have an underload for a given semester will not be granted an overload for the following semester.  Performance in past semesters is reviewed to  assess eligibility for overloads.

No tuition adjustments after deadlines - All adjustments of hours must be done by the deadlines for all students:

  • There will be NO tuition adjustment possible if a student starts in 12 hours and drops below 12 hours by dropping a first half semester class after the 5th day of classes OR by dropping a full semester class after the 10th day of classes.
  • Visit the Office of the Registrar Website for specific tuition information.

Any changes needed and request to underload after day 10 of the semester will have to be done via the Add-Drop Portal, as explained in steps below.

STEPS (for graduating seniors):

  1. Graduating seniors must first add themselves on the Pending Degree List, via< Enterprise/Self-Service system. All requests from graduating seniors who are not on the Pending Degree List will be denied.

  2. Graduating seniors must check that they have fewer than 12 hours to complete their degree in fall or spring and register for those classes.

  3. International students must make their request to ISSS via iStart (make sure to select "Engineering Undergraduate (ALL except CPT)"), and then submit an underload request to the College.

  4. Students must submit request to the College at ONE of the following online forms: 

    1. Either https://go.grainger.illinois.edu/Underload-Graduating (if by the deadline to apply)

    2. or using the Add/Drop Portal (if student missed the deadline, and after the 10th day of classes)

STEPS (for NON-graduating students):

  1. All non-graduating students in the Grainger College of Engineering who wish to do an underload must submit an Underload Request for Continuing Grainger Engineering Students.

  2. Non-graduating students who are registered with DRES should submit a DRES letter of accommodation with their Underload Request.  If an underload is recommended, they must adjust their schedule in Self-Service by the 5th day of classes (see note about tuition).

  3. Non-graduating students who receive Financial Aid, must check with the Office of Financial Aid, and if an underload is approved, they must adjust their schedule in Self-Service by the 5th day of classes (see note about tuition).

  4. International students must make their request to ISSS via iStart (make sure to select "Engineering Undergraduate (ALL except CPT)") (see note about tuition). Once a request is approved by ISSS, International students must then submit an Underload Request for Continuing Grainger Engineering Students.

  5. After the 10th day of classes, all students submit their request to the college by using the Add/Drop Portal.

Also note:

  1. Underload approvals will be pending that students pass all the classes registered for in the semester prior to the Underload Semester.
  2. Underload approvals will not be granted for "graduating seniors" who are missing critical requirements that should have been completed by sophomore year (such as multiple proficiency exams for example; students will not be approved for underload and must simply register for sophomore classes they are missing).

  • Late Requests for an Overload initiated after the posted deadline will be done via the "Add/Drop" portal which opens after the 10th day of classes (fall and spring only). No exceptions will be made.
  • Late Requests for an Underload: Students who are required to make an underload request and who missed the deadline or need to make an adjustment for an Underload request should meet with an Undergraduate Programs Advisor. Students making any Underload requests after the 5th day of classes may impact tuition, without any possibility for adjustment.