Overloads

Students are urged to avoid a course–credit overload.

  • Overloading adds to demands on your time, and often, the result is less time spent on each course rather than more time spent on coursework overall.
  • Experience shows that, even for the very best students, overloading increases the risk of lowering your GPA or otherwise impeding your academic progress.
  • Adding more courses to the your schedule can reduce your ability to focus the concentrated effort required to learn deeply.
  • Coursework should be your highest priority for allocating time, but Lehigh is a rich experience with opportunities for personal development in other areas besides academics. Students who participate in extracurricular activities and cultural events, who get involved in community activities, who maintain connections with friends and family, and who read newspapers, magazines, and for pleasure, are happier and more well–rounded, learn more and earn better grades. Having time to allocate to suchleisure activities provides for much–needed rest and relaxation, lowers stress, keeps work in perspective, and engages the student in personal development beyond academics.
  • Overloading increases the demand for University resources-in particular faculty and staff effort and space in classes-which compromises the quality of the educational experience for all students and may reduce access to limited–enrollment courses.

If you feel that you have extra capacity for doing coursework, rather than expending it on yet another course, consider expending it instead on more effort in the courses you’re already taking. Challenge yourself to learn more material and to learn more deeply without overloading. Keep in mind that earning good grades is not a sufficient indication that you are learning deeply; you may earn good grades while overloading, but it is very difficult to learn deeply while meeting the requirements of too many courses.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, all overloads must be approved by the Associate Dean using an Overload Request Form. A petition to the Committee on Standing of Students is also required in many cases as stated on the back of the Overload Request form.

Important: Do not take approval of an overload request for granted. All overload requests must present compelling educational reasons for the overload. Accelerating the completion of a degree program or the completion of multiple credentials is not a sufficient reason.