Finish In Four

"Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead."

Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist

Finish In Four

The general requirements for an undergraduate baccalaureate degree from The Ohio State University are governed by section 3335-9-30 of the University Faculty Rules. Graduation requirements are specified by the college or school that oversees the degree being pursued. Most baccalaureate degrees require 121 semester credit hours, so to complete these requirements in four years, careful planning is required.

In order to graduate with the desired degree in four years, it is imperative that students plan carefully and follow the guidelines in their college of enrollment, for the particular degree that is being pursued. Talk with your academic advisor early and often about your path to completion in four year.

Keep in mind:

  • For certain financial aid purposes, the federal government considers enrollment in 12 credit hours as full-time enrollment, but if you limit your load to 12 hours per semester, you will not complete your degree in 4 years!
  • Do the math - if your major requires 121 hours, and considering the 1 credit hour University Survey course required of everyone, 15 hours per semester is the minimum required credit hour load to account for the remaining 120 hours!
  • You will pay less by taking at least 15 credit hours per semester. There is no additional tuition per credit hour charged for hours between 12 and 18. So if you take only 12 hours, you will pay for every credit hour. If you take 15 hours, you will get 3 free credit hours each semester, saving you an entire years worth of tuition!
  • College is a commitment. Earning 15 credits per semester may not be easy, but it will give you the advantage of graduating on time and getting ahead. Know the courses you need to graduate, and meet with your advisor to map out a plan to earn your degree on time.
  • Make school your priority. If it's possible, cut back on work time so you can earn 15 credits per semester and finish faster. The payoff in your salary as a college graduate will be worth it. Consider working on campus while taking 15 credits. You'll have more flexibility in your schedule and will have a shorter commute time than if you work off campus. Check out the Student Job Board on the Student Financial Aid website.
  • Research shows that students who are taking 15 credit hours actually perform better in their classes than those who are taking 12 hours. Research also shows that students who work on campus do better than those who work the same number of hours off campus.
  • Be ready for freshman English and Math, and take these courses as part of your first year of college. Students who take 15 credits per semester and complete their English and Math courses early are more likely to graduate on time.
  • Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the application used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs. You may be eligible for grants and free gift aid which do not have to be paid back. With financial assistance, you can concentrate on your studies, work fewer hours and finish your degree faster.
  • Be proactive and ask for help. On campus, you're surrounded with people and resources with the purpose of helping you get your degree. Ask for help from professors, teaching assistants, academic advisors and even fellow students when you need it.
  • Take summer classes! Even if you can't take 15 credits a semester, consider taking OSU summer classes to stay on track. Ohio State is developing many courses for online delivery. Check BuckeyeLink scheduling to find them.