The Northwest-Shoals Community College Academic year is 32 credit hours and the normal credit hour load is 16 to 18 credit hours. Total credit hours above 19 credit hours constitutes a student overload. A student desiring to take more than 19 credit hours must obtain special permission from the Instructional Dean’s Office. A maximum load of 24 credit hours may be taken by a student in extraordinary circumstances and only with special permission. No student will be approved for more than 24 credit hours in any one semester for any reason. Students must have a 2.00 GPA or higher to request a course overload. The minimum load for a regular full-time student is 12 hours. A typical student will earn 32 semester hours in two semesters or 16 hours each semester (fall and spring).