A full-time program is one that is capable of completion in the “normal” time. For example, section 52.2(c)(7) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education specifies that a four-year degree must be capable of completion in four academic years of full-time study. Thus, a baccalaureate degree that requires 120 semester hours should be capable of completion at the rate of 15 semester hours per semester to be completed in the normal time of four academic years.
The State Education Department reviews proposed academic programs and, if they can be completed in the normal time for the particular degree level, registers the programs as being offered on a full-time basis. Only programs registered as full time are eligible for TAP.
“Full-time program” differs from a student’s full-time course load or full-time study requirements. While a full-time program must be capable of completion in the normal time to be registered as a full-time program, students need not complete the program at the rate of 15 semester hours a semester. The full-time study requirement, pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations section 145-2.1 (a), is a minimum course load of at least 12 semester hours.