The University defines "full time" as taking 12 or more credits in one semester, and "half time" as taking 6 or more credits in one semester. A student's time status has implications for financial aid, particularly as it pertains to Federal student loans; students who are not at least half-time are ineligible for Stafford Loans.

For student loan purposes, students who are taking fewer than the required number of credits may be granted an equivalency. To qualify for half-time equivalency you must be taking 2-4 credits and meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are unable to reach 6 credits without exceeding the number of credits required to graduate*
  • You are auditing a class to clear an incomplete in addition to taking a class for credit (as long as the audited class + the credit class add up to 6 or more total credits)


During the Summer Term, the University considers 8 credits to be full time, so we can grant half-time equivalency to anyone taking 4 credits.

*This generally applies to the final semester in a student's career, but in some cases may apply to an earlier semester. For example, if you are taking 4 credits in Spring because you only have Capstone to take in the following Fall and Spring terms, half-time equivalency might be granted for all three semesters.

Requesting Equivalencies

If you are an MPA or MUP student, and you would like to request half-time or full-time equivalency, please send an email explaining your circumstances to wagner.academicservices@nyu.edu.  Please include your University ID# (N#) and the semester.

Students should request equivalency only after their schedule has been finalized for the semester.