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San Diego State University

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Maximum Time Frame

Maximum units and semesters

You are only eligible to receive financial aid for coursework that is needed for, and counts toward, your declared program of study. You may continue to receive financial aid until you reach the maximum units or full-time equivalent semesters established for your degree, credential, or certificate.

At the end of the spring semester of the academic year in which you reach either maximum units or maximum semesters, you will not be eligible for further aid for that degree or objective.

We will notify you with a message by e-mail and in your AidLink account.

Units counted toward the maximum:

  • All units you complete at SDSU or transfer to SDSU are counted
  • Units are counted even if you did not receive aid for those units
  • Semesters of enrollment are counted whether or not you passed your classes

Maximum units and semesters for financial aid for:

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students may receive funds only until one of the following has occurred:

  • The first undergraduate degree has been earned
  • 150 units are completed
  • 12 semesters of full-time equivalent enrollment have been completed

Caution: Undergraduate students may lose eligibility for some grants (Pell Grant, State University Grant, and/or Cal Grant) before these unit or semester limits are reached.

Classified graduate / Credential students

Classified graduate or credential students may receive funds only until one of the following has occurred:

  • A degree or credential has been earned
  • You have completed 125% of the units required for your program (37 units for a typical 30-unit masters degree or 42 units for a typical teaching credential)
  • You have completed 125% of the full-time equivalent semesters required for your program (the equivalent of 4 full time semesters for a typical 30-unit masters degree or 3 semesters for a typical teaching credential)
  • 2 semesters of comprehensive examination 799C have been completed
  • 4 semesters, in any combination, of thesis coursework 799A and 799B have been completed
  • Enrollment in Thesis 799A/B does not count toward the maximum number of units and semesters. However, once enrolled in thesis coursework, your eligibility for aid is limited to four semesters, in any combination, of 799A and 799B.

Caution: Graduate and credential students may lose eligibility for State University Grant (SUG) before the unit and semester limits are reached due to a California State University policy limiting how long you can receive SUG. Students pursuing a second credential or second master's degree are not eligible for SUG.

Limited eligibility for a second master's degree

If you are pursuing a second master's degree, you may be eligible for the Direct Loan Program.

  • Eligibility is limited to 2 years (4 full-time equivalent semesters or 38 units).

Note: Due to a California State University policy, students pursuing a second master's degree or second credential are not eligible for State University Grant.

Joint doctoral students

Joint doctoral students may receive funds only until one of the following has occurred:

  • A degree has been earned
  • 18 units are completed in residence at SDSU (does not include units you complete at the joint degree university)
  • 2 semesters of full-time equivalent enrollment have been completed in residence at SDSU

Note: Maximum units and semesters are adjusted accordingly for doctoral degrees requiring more than 18 units in residence at SDSU. Audiology doctoral students’ maximum units are adjusted automatically to 201 units.

Education doctoral students

Education doctoral students may receive funds only until one of the following has occurred:

  • A degree has been earned
  • 75 units are completed
  • 8 semesters of full-time equivalent enrollment have been completed

Maximum units

There are a maximum number of units for which you may receive financial aid.

In addition, some aid programs have a specific semester or unit limit.