A unit is the standard measurement of college and university work. One unit equals one hour of classroom work in most classes, predominantly those in lecture or lecture-discussion formats.
Students should expect two hours of outside preparation for each one hour spent in class. Laboratory classes have three hours of work per week per unit. (Specialized performance classes such as athletics, drama and music require more than three hours per week per unit.)
Quarter units are equal to two-thirds of a semester unit. Conversely, a semester unit is equal to one and a half quarter units.
Unit Load Limitations
Twelve units is the minimum number of units required for classification as a fulltime student. A normal class load will be 12-17 units.
New students may not exceed a maximum of 21.5 units during their first quarter of
De Anza without the approval of the dean of Counseling.
Continuing students may enroll in excess of 21.5 units (including physical education and labs) if they have met the following conditions:
- Completed a minimum of 12 units in the preceding quarter at De Anza;
- Have not withdrawn from more than one class in the preceding quarter; and
- Completed the preceding quarter with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Students meeting the above criteria who wish to enroll in excess of 21.5 units must petition through the Counseling and Advising Center during the first week of the quarter. Petitions will not be considered before the first day of classes. Students who do not meet the criteria may petition the dean of Counseling for an exception to this policy.
During summer sessions, students may enroll in a maximum of 15 units including physical education classes and labs associated with courses.
- To exceed the 15-unit limit, students must meet with a counselor after classes have started to complete the special petition form. At that meeting, they must present authorization codes for every class over the maximum units they wish to add.
- The form and codes must be processed by the deadline to add for the session.
Students must have completed a minimum of 12 units in the preceding quarter, not withdraw from more than one class, and have at least a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for a unit overload.