The class hour is a weekly 50-minute class period and is the basic unit of instruction. The term "semester hour" (s.h.) signifies one class hour a week carried for one 15-week semester (or the equivalent in a summer term or flexibly scheduled class). A semester hour of credit is the amount of credit given for one semester hour successfully completed. Each semester hour of credit represents an average of three hours of study and instruction every week through the term.

Maximum/Minimum Credit-Hour Value

Registration is not permitted for less than the approved credit hour value of any course as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. Students may not register for more than the approved credit-hour value of a course.

Variable Credit Hours

Certain courses have variable credit hours.  A student wishing to register for such a course may do so only after consulting with the department offering the course to determine the number of hours for which to register. The last day to add a class is also the last day to change credit hours.

Student Load

The semester hours of credit a student carries per term depend on the degree sought and on the curriculum being followed. A minimum of 120 semester hours must be satisfactorily completed to earn a baccalaureate degree; a minimum of 60 semester hours for an associate degree. Students expecting to complete a bachelor's degree in four years or an associate degree in two years should average 16 credits per term. Students interested in taking 21 credit hours or more per term must seek approval from the dean of their college.

Full-time Status

A full-time undergraduate student is one carrying 12 or more hours for credit per term.

Academic Classification

All students working for any undergraduate degree conferred by this University are ranked in classes, by semester hours completed, as follows:

Freshman0-29 semester hours of credit
Sophomore30-59 semester hours of credit
Junior60-89 semester hours of credit
Senior90 or more semester hours of credit

For purposes of satisfying course prerequisites, the term "senior standing" may be defined by reference to the specified curricula of a given school or college, if it provides detailed programs leading to the attainment of a degree. A student who has completed a four-year degree and who continues undergraduate enrollment is classified as post-baccalaureate.

Majors

Declaring or Changing a  Major

A student may enter the University as an undetermined major.

A major and minor (if required) must be declared by the time the student has completed 63 semester hours.

In order to change or declare a major, the student must fill out a form from the department of the desired major. The form will be forwarded to the Office of Records.

Students who need help selecting a major should contact an academic advisor, the academic department, or the Office of Career Services for assistance with academic and career planning. 

Additional Majors and Degrees

A student interested in pursuing more than one major at a time should contact the departments offering majors to be assigned an advisor for each program. Multiple majors or degrees may be awarded concurrently.

Multiple Majors/single Degree

A degree – e.g. Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts – may be awarded only once. However, more than one major for the degree may be posted on the transcript when the appropriate department chairpersons certify completion of the requirements. The student should indicate in each of the appropriate colleges each major completed when filing for graduation. When the student completes more than one major in a given degree, one diploma is awarded. A minimum of 30 semester hours or 50% of the credits counted towards a major, whichever is less, must be specific to that major and not shared by any other major.

Multiple Majors/Multiple Degrees

If a student wishes to complete the requirements for multiple majors that are awarded under different degrees, the student must fulfill all requirements for each major and each degree. The appropriate chairpersons and deans must then certify completion of the requirements for each major and degree. The student must file intent to graduate and graduation application forms for each major and each degree in the appropriate colleges. A minimum of 30 semester hours or 50% of the credits counted towards a major, whichever is less, must be specific to that major and not shared by any other major.

Students may not earn the Bachelor of General Studies concurrently with another bachelor's degree. Students who hold a bachelor's degree are not eligible for a Bachelor of General Studies degree.

Any student who has received a degree from another institution and desires a second degree from YSU must complete a minimum academic residency of 20 semester hours for an associate degree and 30 semester hours for a baccalaureate degree, meet all requirements for the second degree, and complete the requirements for a new major. Students coming from another university or from YSU with an already-completed bachelor's degree will not have to complete any additional general education requirements at YSU but will have to satisfy the residency requirements described above.

Credit from Professional Schools

Students at YSU wishing to enter professional schools with the option of completing their baccalaureate degree in absentia may do so with the completion of at least 94 semester hours of coursework, which must include the following:

  •  All general University requirements
  •  Completion of major
  •  Completion of minor (if required)
  •  54 s.h. of upper-division coursework (3700-4800-Level)

The University will accept the completion of not more than 30 semester hours from any professional school granting any of the degrees listed below and approved by the accrediting agency of that profession, provided that the student has been accepted for further study at the professional school. The student may thus secure the baccalaureate degree after three to three-and-a-half years in the University followed by approximately a year in the professional school. The relevant professional degrees are:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery or equivalent
  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Doctor of Podiatry
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence or equivalent
  • Doctor of Ministry or equivalent
  • Bachelor of Divinity or equivalent

The policy above does not apply to students admitted in the BS/MD Integrated Program of Youngstown State University and the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). However, credit of up to 13 s.h. may be granted toward the completion of the BS degree to those students who have participated in the 6th year Human Values in Medicine Programs of NEOMED.

Undergraduate Preparation for Post-Baccalaureate Degrees

Medical schools have specific requirements for pre-medical study, and many law, theological, technological, and graduate schools have curriculum requirements for those seeking admission. Anyone wishing to enter a professional, technological, or graduate school of any kind should consult advisors in the appropriate undergraduate college of this University as early as possible. Such special needs can usually be met within the degree requirements of Youngstown State University, but the proper selection of courses may have to begin in the first year.

Course Load Requirements for Enrolled Nonimmigrant International Students

In accordance with federal regulations, F-1 students may not be employed on campus for more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Furthermore, F-1 students are required to "pursue a full course of study," which for undergraduate students is defined as a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester (9 credits for graduate students). In order to avoid being de-registered from courses and thus violating nonimmigrant status, it is essential that international students pay their YSU tuition and other fees, including health insurance (see below), in full at the beginning of each semester.

During international student orientation, results of any required placement tests in math or English language are coordinated with testing and academic areas to assist students who may need to further improve proficiencies for academic success.

The Center for International Studies and Programs can provide advice on maintaining nonimmigrant status, authorization for a reduced course load, and obtaining additional employment authorization for unforeseen economic hardship or practical training. For more information, visit the Center for International Studies and Programs website.

International Student Health Insurance

Enrollment in YSU's student health insurance plan is mandatory for all international students (F and J status) and for their nonimmigrant dependents. Coverage must be maintained for the entire calendar year.

An exception to this requirement is granted only to:

  •  students who have comprehensive group health insurance coverage through a parent or spouse's U.S. employer OR
  •  students whose sponsorship by the U.S. government, the student's home government, or a U.S.-recognized international organization includes comprehensive health insurance

To request a waiver from enrollment in the YSU international student insurance plan, students must, by the end of the first week of classes each semester:

  • Submit a completed YSU International Student Health Insurance Waiver Request Form to the Center for International Studies and Programs with proof of  insurance (including  confirmation of coverage dates and a description of covered expenses and exclusions) through a qualifying relative's employer or qualified sponsor.

Athletic Eligibility

The Athletic Eligibility Committee is responsible for the athletic eligibility certification for Youngstown State University with respect to academic "standards of progress" for current student athletes and incoming students in compliance with (NCAA) National Collegiate Athletic  Association's regulations.