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 respective dean. 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).