Enrollment in Overlapping Quarters/Semesters


The University of Denver administers federal financial aid under standard term rules.  Programs that are eligible for federal student aid must follow the federal rules.  Under this guidance standard terms may not overlap with one another. Student enrollment in a semester and quarter at the same time can create federal compliance issues with the standard term rules. This policy provides guidance to the university community for the purposes of advising, program development and registration approval.  This policy also serves to maintain federal compliance.  


The degree program is the determining factor for assigning a student to a quarter program or a semester program.  The Office of Financial Aid may process aid for students pursuing two official graduate programs in both semesters and quarters (the law school and another school) based on a student’s primary enrollment pattern during their program.  The charts below represent the options of simultaneous enrollment.  Students enrolled in two separate degree programs that include semesters and quarters must follow the enrollment rules strictly as defined in the charts to avoid overlapping terms.   

The student’s enrollment pattern (quarters or semesters) is determined by the program, not the selection of courses.  Students solely in a program based on quarter terms may not enroll in semester courses.  Students solely in a program based on semester terms (Law) may enroll in some quarters that fit as modules within a semester based on the chart below.  Enrollment in courses outside of the student’s quarter or semester program must follow the rules for overlapping terms.   

Possible quarter enrollment options for students enrolled in law semester programs

  • Fall Semester/Autumn Quarter: Yes
  • Fall Semester/Summer Quarter: No
  • Spring Semester/Winter Quarter: Yes
  • Spring Semester/Spring Interterm: Yes
  • Spring Semester/Spring Quarter: No
  • Summer Semester/Spring Quarter: No

Recognized programs that include semesters and quarters generally establish a degree progress plan whereby students spend most of the academic year in either the quarter or the semester program. As noted above for students in semester programs, enrollment in some quarters is possible while in the semester program.   

Registration Approval

Students are not allowed to register simultaneously in quarters and semesters outside of the parameters established in this policy.  Students should consult with the proper program chair or delegate who will need to ensure that compliance to the above registration practices are followed.

Consequences of enrolling in overlapping terms

The overlapping term rules apply to all students regardless of financial aid status.  Should a student successfully enroll in violation of the practices defined in these rules, the University will notify the advisor and the student that a review and adjustment of course registration is required to maintain compliance.  The Office of Financial Aid will not authorize the release of the financial aid for the over lapping terms.   

Program Design

Interdisciplinary programs are a hallmark of the University of Denver’s long-term vision of supporting students. Several excellent examples for programs that comply with these policies have already been developed (e.g. JD/MBA, Tax/JD, MSW/JD, MSIS/JD). These models use a cohort experience to ensure that the students achieve their degree success with transparency.