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Excessive Hours

Undergraduate Excessive Hours

Texas Education Code §54.014 specifies that resident undergraduate students may be subject to a higher tuition rate for attempting excessive hours at any public institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes. Texas State students attempting hours in excess of their degree program requirements will be charged at the non-resident tuition rate for those hours, and those students are categorized as follows:

1. Students initially enrolled during the fall 1999 through summer 2006 semesters will be charged at the non-resident rate if, prior to the start of the current semester or session, the student has previously attempted 45 or more hours over the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Any hours beyond 45 are considered excessive and will result in additional tuition charges.

2. Students initially enrolled during or after the fall 2006 semester will be charged at the non-resident rate if, prior to the start of the current semester or session, the student has previously attempted 30 or more hours over the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Any hours beyond 30 are considered excessive and will result in additional tuition charges.

Courses that count towards the excessive hour calculation are those courses attempted at Texas State or any Texas public institution of higher education. The following types of credit hours will count toward the excessive hour limit:

  • Hours earned in courses in which a grade is earned on the transcript
  • Major courses
  • Dual degree courses (excessive calculation assumes 30 hours)
  • Minor courses (for optional minors, excessive calculation assumes 18 hours. For minors above 18 hours, the academic advisor notifies Student Business Service (SBS) to override the excess hours calculation.)
  • Certificate courses
  • Teaching certification courses
  • Hours in distance and off-campus courses
  • Bankruptcy hours
  • Repeated courses
  • Courses dropped after the official census date

The following types of credit hours are exempt and will not count toward the limit:

  • Hours earned after a baccalaureate degree
  • Hours earned through examination (without registering for a course)
  • Hours earned by the student at a private institution or an out-of-state institution
  • Hours earned by the undergraduate ten or more years before beginning a new degree program under Academic Fresh Start
  • Hours from developmental courses or interventions, workforce education courses, or other courses that would not generate academic credit that could be applied to a degree at Texas State if the course work is within the 27-hour limit at two-year colleges and the 18-hour limit at general academic institutions
  • Hours earned by the undergraduate before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements
  • Hours not eligible for formula funding

Students with excessive hours are encouraged to contact their academic advisor to review their degree plan and insure that it is complete, accurate and to verify the hours required for completion.

Exceptions due to economic hardship are permitted under defined institutional policy. A student with an economic hardship is defined as someone who, at the time of registration, is documented with the Office of Financial Aid as being eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, regardless of whether they actually receive the funding due to enrollment status, non-satisfactory academic progress, or other reasons. Students who become Pell eligible, during the semester in which they are charged the non-resident tuition, may submit eligibility documents to the Student Business Services office no later than the official last class day of the semester in which the exception is being requested.

Doctoral Excess Hours (99 hour Rule)

In accordance with Texas Education Code §54.012, the university will incur a penalty once a doctoral student accumulates 100 or more doctoral semester credit hours.  In response, the Texas State University System has a new tuition structure (excessive hours fee) in which a doctoral student will be charged tuition at a rate equivalent to non-resident tuition for all doctoral semester credit hours exceeding 99.  Courses taken by a doctoral student at the master’s or undergraduate level will not count towards the 99 hours.  If the student is admitted to a doctoral program from the bachelor’s degree, the count begins after 30 hours of graduate coursework.  This tuition structure applies to Texas residents as well as out-of-state residents and international students who were eligible to be charged tuition at the resident rate as a result of scholarship and fellowship awards or employment as Graduate Assistants.  Students should contact the Ph.D. Program Director regarding this appeal process.