Undergraduate Flexible Semester Options for 2020-21

Updated: February 17, 2021

For most undergraduate students, the simplest way to stay on track is to enroll in a normal course load (15-18 credits) for the fall and spring semesters. But if this is not possible for you, we have created a number of flexible semester options to support your academic progress. We encourage you to work closely with your academic advisor if you are considering these flexible options. International students should review their plans with the Office of Global Services.

Flexible Semester Options are not available to students whose home school is NYU Shanghai, SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, or the College of Dentistry (i.e., undergraduates in Dental Hygiene programs).

Flexible Credit Grants

Flexible semester options involve a lighter full-time load (no less than 12 credits) in Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021, combined with taking classes in January 2021 or Summer 2021, which will be supported by Flexible Credit Grants.

Flexible Credit Grants are tuition grants that:

  • are contingent upon your enrolling full-time (minimum 12 credits) in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
  • cover up to 4 credits of tuition and service fees for each semester in which you pursue a lighter course load of 12-14 credits, up to a maximum of 8 credits
  • can only be used for courses taken in January 2021 and/or Summer 2021
  • cannot be applied to fees required for a specialized class (e.g., lab equipment, supplies, etc.)
  • may not be used for Summer 2021 courses offered by NYU Shanghai
  • can only be applied to courses taken for your undergraduate degree

Flexible semester options involve a lighter full-time load (no less than 12 credits) in Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021, combined with taking classes in January 2021 or Summer 2021, which will be supported by Flexible Credit Grants.

Undergraduate Flexible Semester Options for the 2020-21 Academic Year

You will have the opportunity to take your courses online in Fall 2020 if you wish to continue your studies at home. A number of online courses will also be offered in Spring and Summer 2021. Check back later to see which spring and summer courses will be available online.

Option 1: Lighter Fall Semester

If you take a lighter full-time course load (12-14 credits) in Fall 2020 and a normal load (15-18 credits) in Spring 2021, you will be eligible for a 4-credit tuition grant that you can use to take courses in January 2021 or Summer 2021.

Lighter Fall, Normal Spring and Summer  

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
12-14 credits 15-18 credits Up to 4 credits (with a
Flexible Credit Grant
covering up to 4 credits)

Lighter Fall and January, Normal Spring

Fall 2020 January 2021 Spring 2021
12-14 credits Up to 4 credits (with a Flexible Credit Grant covering up to 4 credits) 15-18 credits

Option 2: Lighter Spring Semester  

If you take a normal course load (15-18 credits) in Fall 2020 and a lighter full-time course load (12-14 credits) in Spring 2021, you will be eligible for a 4-credit tuition grant that you can use to take courses in Summer 2021. (Students who use this option are not eligible for a January 2021 Flexible Credit Grant.).  

Normal Fall, Lighter Spring and Summer  

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
15-18 credits 12-14 credits Up to 4 credits (with a
Flexible Credit Grant
covering up to 4 credits)

Option 3: Lighter Fall and Spring  

Finally, if you take 12-14 credits in both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, you will be eligible for an 8-credit Flexible Credit Grant that you can use to take courses in Summer 2021 (up to 8 credits). Alternatively, you can spread the 8-credit grant across January 2021 (up to 4 credits) and Summer 2021 (up to 4 credits).  

Lighter Fall, Lighter Spring and Summer

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
12-14 credits 12-14 credits Up to 8 credits (with a
Flexible Credit Grant
covering up to 8 credits)

Lighter Fall and January, Lighter Spring and Summer

Fall 2020 January 2021 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
12-14 credits

Up to 4 credits (with a Flexible Credit Grant covering up to 4 credits) 12-14 credits

Up to 4 credit (with a Flexible Credit Grant covering up to 4 credits)

Scholarship, Tuition and Aid, and Room and Board

  • If you receive financial aid (including federal loans), you should consult with the Office of Financial Aid as you make plans, so that you are aware of any potential implications to your aid award.
  • If you choose to take 12-14 credits in the fall and/or spring, The Office of Financial Aid will automatically award you the scholarship if you sign up for a 4-credit course in J-Term or Summer. There is nothing you need to do to request the grant.
  • Flexible Credit Grants are awarded for up to 4 credits for each semester that a student takes a lighter full-time course load (12-14 credits) for a maximum of 8 credits
  • Flexible Credit Grants cannot be applied to the fall or spring semester or used in a future academic year.
  • Students who choose to take a lighter full-time load should check with financial aid to be aware of any implications this may have on federal funds (grants, work-study and loans)
  • Students who choose to study completely remotely will still be eligible for a Flexible Credit Grant
  • Students who do not live on campus will not be charged room and board. Learn more about tuition information.