Monterey Institute of International Studies

Any credits taken beyond 16 per semester are considered "overload credits," and you will need to pay for them at the per credit rate in your final semester. However, if you take less than 16 (but no less than 11 credits) during one of your semester's, you can “underload” and balance out any overloads you may have incurred.

Overload Credit Policy

If you pay the comprehensive fee, you may take between eleven (11) and sixteen (16) credits in a given semester. If you wish to take more credits, you may either:

  1. Pay for the additional credit at the current per credit rate or
  2. Defer the overload credits to a subsequent semester in which you pay the comprehensive fee but take fewer than sixteen (16) credits.

For example, if you registered for 17 credits one semester, but the next semester you registered for 15 credits, your running total for overloads is zero, as the average of those two semesters is 16 credits.

If you defer overload charges without an equivalent underload in a subsequent semester, you will be required to pay the per credit rate for the remaining overload credits during your final semester.

Overload+/Underload- Chart

Registered Credits Overload+/Underload-
16 credits = 0
15 credits = -1
14 credits = -2
13 credits = -3
12 credits = -4
11 credits = -5

If you incur more than six overload credits, you will be required to get your Academic Advisor's approval for such an overload and may be required to pay for the credits exceeding six overload credits at the time they are incurred.

You are also advised not to underload more than four credits as this may impact your ability to graduate in a timely manner.

Overload & Underload Credit Examples

The following examples show underload, overload, and a break-even scenario:

Underload Scenario
Overload Scenario
Breakeven Scenario
Registered Credits Overloads +/- Registered Credits Overloads +/- Registered Credits Overloads +/-
1st Semester 12 -4 14 -2 12 -4
2nd Semester 16 0 18 2 21 5
3rd Semester 13 -3 20 4 18 2
4th Semester 16 0 20 4 13 -3
Total Overloads -7 8 0

Depending on how credits are taken, you may have an overload even if they have not surpassed the number of required credits for your degree.

Finishing Your Degree in 3 Semesters

You may choose to finish your two-year master's degree a semester early. This would entail spreading out a semester's worth of credits, 12 – 16 credits, over your other semesters. Although this does not incur any additional tuition charges, there will be overloads in the final semester. The following shows the overall credit distribution of a two-year program completed in four semesters and three semesters.

Four Semesters
Three Semesters
Registered Credits Overloads +/- Registered Credits Overloads +/-
1st Semester 12 0 20 4
2nd Semester 16 0 20 4
3rd Semester 16 0 20 4
4th Semester 16 0 0 0
Total 60 -4 60 12

The four semester program consists of four comprehensive fees paid in each semester with no additional overload charges. Fast tracking a four semester program into three semesters will also incur four comprehensive fees. The difference with the fast tracked option is that two comprehensive fees will be charged in the final semester: one for the registered credits and one for the total overloads. Overall tuition paid in both scenarios is the same.