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Academic Units, Overload, Course Numbering System

Academic Credit Units

All courses at AUPP have a credit unit value assigned to them. An academic unit is defined by the nature of the course that is offered. A unit of course credit is normally equivalent to one hour of class per week for a fifteen (15) week semester. For example, a course that meets for 3 hours per week, for a 15-week semester would have a course credit of 3 units.

Students will typically register for 15 units of classes per semester, the equivalent of 5 classes of 3 units each. However, graduation requires a minimum completion of 124 units, and thus the student will need to enroll in 4 additional units during their eight semesters of study at AUPP. This can be done through a series of one unit seminars and/or laboratories, or through an additional course taken in one or more semesters or summer. For most students, the additional four units will be completed through the required laboratories, seminars and internship in their major.


The normal course unit load in any semester is 15 to 17 units. A schedule of 18 or more units in a semester is considered an overload.

First year students may not take an overload. Students with one or more outstanding “I” grades are not permitted to take an overload. Students on academic probation are not permitted to carry an overload.

A student with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 may take a maximum of nineteen (19) units in a semester with the permission of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs (VPASA). Students who could graduate at the end of the semester are permitted to exceed the 19 units limit and/or waive the requirement of a 3.0 GPA for that semester with the permission of the VPASA. A semester course load of 20-22 units is to be undertaken only under exceptional circumstances. No student may enroll for more than 22 units in one semester.

Course Numbering System

  • Courses numbered 001-099 are pre-collegiate courses. These courses are not included in the minimum 124 units needed for graduation.
  • Courses numbered 100-299 are lower division courses and are usually taken in the first two years of study.
  • Courses numbered 300-499 are upper division courses and are usually taken in the last two years of study and typically have lower level course prerequisites.