Full-time is 15

Do the math:

To graduate "on time," you need to take at least 15 credit hours per semester.

To earn a bachelor's degree in four years or an associate degree in two years, you must complete at least 15 credit hours toward your degree per semester — or 30 in an academic year.

Bachelor's Degree: Finish in four.

Save time. Save money. Stay on track.

Tuition. Books. Housing. Every year of college is expensive — plus, research shows the longer you stay in college, the less likely you are to ever graduate. Taking at least 15 credit hours per semester is a smart way to stay on track and save money on college expenses. If you commit to it, you could:

  • improve your grades
  • save money on tuition
  • start your career earlier

Take 15 to finish

Make a game plan:

Taking 15 credit hours per semester is important to staying on track for your degree — but you can't take just ANY 15 credits. Work with your advisor to map out your schedule for each semester of your college career.

Creating a game plan will help you stay on track and avoid scheduling problems that could delay your graduation. Some classes require a prerequisite, meaning you can't enroll until you've completed another requirement (usually another class). For example, you may have to take biology 101 before enrolling in biology 201. Also, colleges don't offer every class every semester — so it's important to build your schedule around when classes will be available.

Related resources: career planning tools college planning tools

College 101 guide

Get to know your advisors.

Requirements vary from program to program, so you should work closely with your academic advisors to make sure you're on track for your particular degree. Academic advisors are your advocates — they're here to help! Advisors can help you:

  • manage your class load and create a balanced schedule
  • get back on track if you have challenges
  • select or change majors or minors
  • accommodate special class credits, such as credits earned while studying abroad or from another college
  • find internships or co-curricular opportunities

Your professors are also valuable supporters who can help you make connections on campus, catch up when you get off track, and learn more about areas that interest you.


15 to Finish is an initiative of College for West Virginia. CFWV is coordinated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Student Affairs.

Division of Student Affairs
(304) 558-0655

15 to Finish is a registered trademark of the University of Hawaii System and is being used by West Virginia with permission through the Complete College America initiative. 15 to Finish is an initiative of College for West Virginia, led by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission