Credits taken beyond 16 per semester are considered overload credits and must be paid for at the per-credit rate in your final semester.

However, if you take fewer than 16 (but no fewer than 12) credits during one of your semesters, you can “underload” and balance out any overloads you may have incurred.

Overload Credit Policy

Payment of the comprehensive fee allots each student between 12 and 16 credits in a given semester. If you wish to take more credits, you may do one of the following options:

  • Pay for the additional credits at the current per-credit rate

  • Defer the overload credits to a subsequent semester in which you pay the comprehensive fee but take fewer than 16 credits.

For example, if you registered for 17 credits one semester, but the next semester you registered for 15 credits, your running total for overloads is zero, as the average of those two semesters is 16 credits.

If you defer overload charges without an equivalent underload in a subsequent semester, you will be required to pay the per-credit rate for the remaining overload credits during your final semester.

For students who spend a semester at a Middlebury School Abroad, that semester is treated as a semester in which the student paid a comprehensive fee to the Institute for the purposes of this overload policy. Students who study abroad at an institution other than a Middlebury School Abroad will not incur overloads or underloads.

Overload/Underload Chart

Registered Credits Overload+/Underload-
16 credits 0
15 credits -1
14 credits -2
13 credits -3
12 credits -4
  • If you incur more than six overload credits, you will be required to get your academic advisor’s approval for such an overload and may be required to pay for the credits exceeding six overload credits at the time they are incurred.

  • Overloads or underloads do not accrue when you are not paying tuition directly to the Middlebury Institute; i.e. consortium agreements with other schools, with the exception of Middlebury Schools Abroad.

Finishing Your Degree in Three Semesters

You may choose to finish a two-year master’s degree program a semester early. This would entail spreading out a semester’s worth of credits—12 to 16 credits—over your other semesters. Although this does not incur any additional tuition charges, there will be overloads in the final semester.

The four-semester program consists of four comprehensive fees paid in each semester with no additional overload charges. Fast-tracking a four semester program into three semesters will also incur four comprehensive fees. The difference with the fast-tracked option is that two comprehensive fees will be charged in the final semester: one for the registered credits and one for the total overloads. Overall tuition paid in both scenarios is the same.