Undergraduate Credit Limitation (the 150-hour rule)

Section 54.014 of the Texas Education Code was amended during the 76th legislative session to allow institutions of higher education to charge a higher tuition rate to resident students for semester credit hours attempted in excess of 45 semester credit hours above those required for completion of a degree program. The law applies only to new undergraduate resident students beginning in Fall 1999 or later. The 79th legislative session reduced the semester-credit-hour limitation to 30 semester credit hours for all new undergraduate resident students who enroll for the first time in Fall 2006 or thereafter.  The result is that all undergraduate students must complete their degree requirements within 150 semester credit hours.

The 45 (or 30) hours include courses which are repeated, duplicated, or courses for which the student received a grade of “W.” Although the law allows some exclusions, hours for courses passed, failed, withdrawn, and dropped are counted in the 45 (or 30) hours if the student took them while paying resident tuition at a public institution in Texas. Students are encouraged to seek academic advising and to follow the official degree plan in the approved catalog of graduation.

Resident undergraduate students who initially enrolled during or after the Fall 1999 Semester and who enroll in courses in excess of 45 semester credit hours above those required for completion of their degree program will be assessed an additional charge per semester credit hour (for amount, see Additional College and Course Fees and Incidental Charges section of this publication). Effective Fall 2006, all new undergraduate resident students will be assessed the higher tuition rate for semester credit hours attempted in excess of 30 semester credit hours above those required for completion of a degree.

Effective June 15, 2017, in accordance with amendment S.B 1782 to Section 51.907, Education Code, the first additional 15 semester credit hours earned toward a degree program will not be counted for the purposes of determining  the student's Undergraduate Credit Limitation if the student meets the following circumstances:

  1.  Student has re-enrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering the 24-month period preceding the first class of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's re-enrollment.
  2. Student has successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at an institution of higher education before the break in enrollment.

In rare cases, an undergraduate student may have experienced exigent circumstances that would explain the need to complete the degree beyond 150 semester credit hours. In those cases, a student may petition to appeal a charge incurred because of the 150-hour rule. The circumstances must have been severe, ongoing and must have directly affected the student, such as hospitalization of the student. Appeal packets must include official documentation of the exigent circumstances. Students with questions or who wish to appeal this policy due to extenuating circumstances should contact their assigned academic advisor.